After the Reading Print
Written by Richard Griffin   
Saturday, April 04 2009 07:52

At a gathering after an actors' reading of the Waste Land and other poems of T.S. Eliot, I chatted with Dame Eileen Atkins, a star of both stage and screen.

She spoke of staying in touch with Eliot's widow, now quite old.  When I told her of enjoying her 2002 Broadway performance in The Retreat from Moscow with John Lithgow and Ben Chaplin, she said that she had stayed in contact with John.

About the difference between appearing in a movie and acting on stage, she has definite views. She finds the latter much more satisfying. In a film, you don't have much of an idea how the whole thing will look when it is finished. And you don't always know when you are being taken by the camera. On stage, you have a clearer sense of where you stand in the action.

This charming 74-year-old actress proved as fetching a party conversationalist as she is a performer on stage.