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Celebrating a golden generation of actresses

By: stagedoorscribbler - December 30, 2019

Gyles Brandreth. Photograph by Hattie Miles

It was lovely to see, that amid the customary tinsel and tattle in the run-up to Christmas, our good friend Gyles Brandreth penned a Daily Mail feature celebrating six of our most remarkable actresses.
They are all in their ninth decade, all brilliant and all his chums. They are Sheila Hancock who is 86, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, and Eileen Atkins who are all 85, Glenda Jackson who is 83 and Vanessa Redgrave whose 83rd birthday is next month.
What an extraordinary group of women. They are, as Gyles pointed out, absolute perfectionists and brilliant actors but are tellingly dismissive of their own achievements.
Never mind though. If the point needs proving that they are part of a golden generation then they could just point at the impressive collection of Oscars, Baftas and Oliviers they have collected between them.
 Gyles included some priceless anecdote and of course his own observations. I think the one that really hit home for me was his assessment of Vanessa, Glenda and Sheila as political animals who, unlike the ghastly individuals we saw behaving disgracefully during the General Election campaigns, are instinctively courteous.
The picture is of women who are passionate about theatre, highly politically aware but good fun, damn good company. Great role models.