Allelujah drops heartwarming trailer featuring Jennifer Saunders and Judi Dench

Virgin Radio

13 Dec 2022, 13:57

Scenes from Allelujah, including Jennifer Saunders as a nurse (left).

Credit: YouTube / Pathe UK

A new Alan Bennett adaptation, Allelujah, is set to land in cinemas next year, and, if the trailer is anything to go by, it’s a film you won’t want to miss. 

The movie - which stars Absolutely Fabulous legend Jennifer Saunders and newcomer Bally Gill, and features the iconic Dame Judi Dench - is set on a geriatric ward in a Yorkshire hospital. The narrative focuses on how, when threatened with closure, the hospital fights back, and stirs an uprising from the local community, who invite a news crew to film preparations for a concert in honour of the hospital’s most distinguished nurse (played by Saunders). 

Based on the stage play by Alan Bennett, there are plenty of other stars in a cracking cast, including Derek Jacobi (I Claudius), David Bradley (Harry Potter’s Argus Filch ), Russell Tovey (Budgie from Gavin & Stacey) and Julia McKenzie (Cranford, Marple).

As the trailer shows, Allelujah pays tribute to the generosity of spirit and humanity of medical staff swimming against the tide of limited resources and ever-growing demand, and to the elderly patients involved.

“The patients, pushed to the margins, doomed to be rubbed out,” Gill’s character says.

In a lighter moment, one of the patients says: “I used to work in a factory. I had ten men under me,” another jokes: “So did I, on a good day!”

Later in the clip, Gill’s character says: “We’re here for your first cry, for your last breath. We will be here when you’re old. We are love itself, and for love, there’s no charge.”

Allelujah is directed by Richard Eyre (The Children Act, Notes on a Scandal), with the screenplay written by Call the Midwife’s Heidi Thomas.

It is the first of Bennett's works to be adapted for film since 2015's acclaimed The Lady in the Van, starring Maggie Smith.

Allelujah will land in cinemas on 17th March 2023.