Tag Archives: Will She Do: Act One of a Life on Stage

Eileen Atkins, Will She Do: Act One of A Life on Stage.

Very good theatrical autobiography. The class element, the importance of speech, the home-made clothes, the lack of food, the Shirley Temple wannabee shaking her curls and knickers at dirty old men in Working Men’s clubs; the dampness and cold of the war and immediate post-war period are all vividly evoked. The memoir ends when she finally becomes a name with The Killing of Sister George in 1965 — a long haul –so one also gets a vivid depiction of theatrical life in the 50s; repertory, walk on parts in Stratford, troupes in sea-side towns, Butlins, live television. I was glad to spend a day in her company.

José Arroyo