National treasure and ever-popular playwright Alan Bennett has penned the Company of Ten’s opening production of the new season, Office Suite. And audience members will be treated to not one but two of his plays, based around the theme of office life.

The plays will be performed at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans on Friday, September 20, and Saturday, September 21, and next year in May.

In A Visit From Miss Prothero, a secretary upsets the contented retirement of her former boss with the latest gossip. And in Green Forms, filing clerk Doreen lives in fear of the advent of new computers.

Both are written with Bennett’s signature incisiveness and compassion, turning stories of mundane lives into tragicomic mini-masterpieces.

Director Chris Bramwell said: “As soon as I heard that this pair of plays by Alan Bennett was being proposed, I wanted to be involved. He is a writer that I have admired for many years. He has a quiet, Chekhovian approach to the human condition, pointing out our foibles, worries and weaknesses with warmth, affection and humour.

“Even his least likeable characters have their own particular vulnerabilities that make them accessible to us.

“These two plays were written originally for television and broadcast by the BBC and LWT respectively almost a year apart in 1978. They are very different in tone but have the unifying theme of work, our feelings about it, our worries and insecurities and the sense of loss when the purpose that work can give us is taken away. These are themes as true today as they were 40 years ago when they were written.”

Abbey Theatre, Holywell Hill, St Albans, Friday, September 20, and Saturday, September 21; Tuesday, May 24, to Saturday, May 28. Details: 01727 857861