‘Her gift for directly communicating the open-heartedness and spirit of adventure with which she confronts her life … is the stuff of bestsellers’ Joan Bakewell, Guardian
Sheila Hancock looked like she was managing old age. She had weathered and even thrived in widowhood, taking on acting roles that would have been demanding for a woman half her age. She had energy, friends, a devoted family, a lovely home. She could still remember her lines.
So why, at 89, having sailed past supposedly disturbing milestones – 50, 70 even 80 – without a qualm, did she suddenly feel so furious? Shocking diagnoses, Brexit and bereavement seemed to knock her from every quarter. And that was before lockdown.
Home alone, classified as ‘extremely vulnerable’, she finds herself yelling at the TV and talking to the pigeons. But she can at least take a good long look at life – her work and family, her beliefs (many of them the legacy of her wartime childhood) and, uncomfortable as it might be to face, her future.
In Old Rage, one of Britain’s best loved actors opens up about her ninth decade. Funny, feisty, honest, she makes for brilliant company as she talks about her life as a daughter, a sister, a mother, a widow, an actor, a friend and looks at a world so different from the wartime world of her childhood. And yet – despite age, despite rage – she finds there are always reasons for joy.