Three theatre women worth watching:
Diana Quick: just finished a run at the Theatre Royal in Bath – The Big Meal. This is a challenging play by US writer Dan LeFranc which tells the story of a family through five generations with all the actors playing multiple parts.
Quick was married to fellowe actor Bill Nighy for some 27 years and her daughter, Mary, is also an actor.
Diana Quick played the part of Margery Kempe in a radio play of mine that BBC Radio broadcast a few years ago. I liked what I heard but I really wanted to see this character in the flesh. One day….
Clare Dunne: currently playing Hal in the Donmar Warehouse production of Henry lV parts l and ll.
Dunne has worked a lot with Gary Hyne’s Galway-based Druid Theatre Company. I saw her play Major Barbara at the Abbey in Dublin and she gave it all that that part needed. The Donmar production, directed by Phyllida Lloyd, has an all-female cast and is the second of three such Shakespearean productions with Julius Caesar the first.
Henry lV runs till Nov 29
Eileen Atkins: currently playing the lead in The Witch of Edmonton at the Swan Theatre, Stratford on Avon. In a recent interview in The Observer, she was asked if playing a witch was typical casting for ” a mature actress.” And she replied: ” Of course. Even today there’s a resentment of what you call mature and I call old people.They are thought of as witches. ” Atkins is seventy-something. Directed by Gregory Doran, she plays the part of a woman , in 1621, who takes up witchcraft in self-defense. As the Observer notes “…tiresome, isolated, loquacious, she is the sort of neighbour you might prefer to avoid.” Sounds a bit lke Margery Kempe to me. I’ll know next week – I have the ticket bought.
The Witch of Edmonton runs till 29 Nov