On 13th February, after a hiatus of 61 years, multi-award winning actress Dame Eileen Atkins CBE DBE made a triumphant return to the BLT stage.
Amazingly, she first appeared at our theatre aged 27, in a play called The Square by Marguerite Duras, which she recalled with great fondness to the sell-out audience, saying “I can honestly say that Bromley gave me my first big break”.
Interviewed by our own Pat Jones, Dame Eileen delighted us all with stories from her life in theatre, film and television, from dancing shows at the age of 6 up until the present day. She also recalled the highs and lows of her illustrious career, from performing at Butlins, to being fired from a theatre role, to her many successes and friendships.
Her stories included wonderfully funny anecdotes involving Sir Laurence Olivier (Larry), Jude Law and many other well-known industry names.
During lockdown Dame Eileen wrote a new autobiography, Will she do? Act One of a Life on Stage, which was on sale on the night, and is available at all good bookstores. She generously signed each copy and chatted with audience members.
The event raised around £2,250 for our redevelopment programme and Dame Eileen kindly gave her time free.
A very big thank you to all involved, especially Pat Jones who once again demonstrated her formidable interviewing technique!