In 1989 she premiered her one-woman show, Dickens' Women, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, before playing it in cities around the world. The show is currently touring nationally as the flagship production of Dickens 2012, the international celebration of the bicentenery of the writer's birth. It is the first time the production has toured the UK.
Co-devised and directed by Sonia Fraser, the Olivier Award-nominated piece explores some of the most colourful female characters in Dickens' novels, including many based upon real women from the writer's life. It tours the UK until 13 October.
Date & place of
Oxford, UK. 18 May 1941.
Lives now in?
Clapham, South London
What made you want to
become an actress?
There was no choice.
What else might you have
I could have been a laywer, an estate agent or a probation officer
First big break?
The Girls of Slender Means on TV in 1976
Career highlight so
Receiving the BAFTA for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Age Of Innocence
Dame Eileen Atkins
What was the first thing
you saw on stage that had a big impact on you?
Aladdin at New Theatre Oxford in 1948
And the last?
Mark Rylance in Jerusalem
And the worst?
“Give up the stage” (John Harrison)
Would you ever return to
What's your favourite
Why did you want to get
involved with this production?
It’s been my life’s task to bring Dickens to a modern public.
Women in five words
Unexpected, revealing, hilarious, moving, mesmerizing.
Who is your favourite
Miss Havisham (Great Expectations)
Which town are you most
looking forward to visiting on tour?
Hull; because I have an aged relative there.
What have you got lined up
An Aussie TV series called Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries