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Old Rage: 'One of our best-loved actor's powerful riposte to a world driving her mad’ - DAILY MAIL

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Thaw was much more like Jack Regan than Inspector Morse, she tells me, and for this reason she has occasionally plucked up the courage to watch The Sweeney since his death. In the book, her view of the world is refreshing, not dead certain but tempered with the confounding burden of experience. Whilst I’m sure she’s a very nice lady to be commended for her many and varied accomplishments including mountain climbing aged 83, raising 3 daughters whilst maintaining a career and a marriage to an alcoholic but the incessant opinionated ranting and disparaging remarks about public figures she doesn’t approve of or like is tiresome. When she and Thaw became a couple – they married in 1973 – they each had a daughter, Abigail and Melanie, by their previous partners; later, they had a daughter together, Joanna. Aged 83, Sheila climbed Suilven, a mountain in the Scottish highlands, portraying the character of Edie, a stubborn woman with a long-held desire to climb the mountain.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and laughed out loud at her references to various politicians.So refreshing to read a book with a person's views and opinions written down exactly how they said them and felt them - she wrote the book as herself and didn't try to be anything or anyone else - loved it!

She covers everything in old age from the loneliness and aches and pains to rage at the body that once did so much but now can’t, and the strange society that we’re all making our way through. The last night of Sweeney Todd… [Hancock played Mrs Lovett in the original West End production of Stephen Sondheim’s musical in 1980] I’m ashamed I didn’t enjoy it: the audience going wild; me having to tell them to shut up, because I couldn’t hear the band, and I needed to make my pies in time to it. Hancock discovers many reasons for joy and optimism - and you're quite likely to find yourself nodding in agreement with her.

Her gift for directly communicating the open-heartedness and spirit of adventure with which she confronts her life . Sheila Hancock, one of Britain's most highly regarded and popular actors, received a Damehood for services to drama and charity in 2021. Following the death of her husband, John Thaw, she wrote a memoir of their marriage, The Two of Us, which was a number one bestseller and won the British Book Award for Author of the Year.

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