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Summary

Will She Do? is the story of a girl from a council estate in Tottenham, born in 1934 to an electric-meter reader and a seamstress, who was determined to be an actress. Candid and witty, this memoir takes her from her awkward performances in working-men's clubs at six years of age as dancing 'Baby Eileen', through the war years in London, to her breakthrough at 32 on Broadway with The Killing of Sister George, for which she received the first of four Tony Award nominations. She co-created Upstairs, Downstairs and wrote the screenplay for Mrs Dalloway (for which she won an Evening Standard Award) and at age 86, this is her first autobiographical work. 

Characterised by an eye for the absurd, a terrific knack for storytelling and an insistence on honesty, Will She Do? is a wonderful raconteur's tale about family, class, youthful ambition and big dreams and what really goes on behind the scenes. Made a Dame in 1991, Eileen Atkins has been on American and British stage and screen since 1957 and has won an Emmy, a BAFTA and is a three-time Olivier Award winner; her theatre performances include The Height of the Storm, Ellen Terry, All that Fall and she has appeared in television and films ranging from Doc Martin to Cranford to The Crown.

©2021 Eileen Atkins (P)2021 Hachette Audio UK

Critic reviews

"Yes, she will: this vivid, honest memoir by a great actress and a natural writer goes down a treat." (Tom Stoppard)

What listeners say about Will She Do?

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Amazing

A brilliant story - fascinating to hear family background and the first part of her career, brimming with delicious theatrical anecdotes.
Over too soon - but cannot wait for the next volume!

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing!!

Well written and narrated an honest account of a different life …..a wonderful varied career in theatre and screen with acting greats .

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Interesting early years autobiography of actress

An interesting autobiography by Eileen Atkins of her early years. She goes in to great detail of her pre-acting, humble working class life and retains a huge class based chip on her shoulder throughout the book. She does all she can to forge an acting career and faces many setbacks. She narrates her own story very well, as you might expect. She is frank and honest but she really does come across as hard work. Far too many tears, angry rows, over-reactions to the slightest criticism and unnecessary confrontations. Definitely worth reading but you don't ever warm to her.

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Superb!

Wonderful biography of a great ( if "no nonsense") actress.
Thank godness she finally got round to writing it.
Hoping for a second edition.

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will she do?

Well read, reasonably entertaining memoir. not as much insight into her co stars or film star gossip as I was expecting, still a pleasant book

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Yes, she will more than do

Most entertaining audiobook I have ever downloaded- hope I can find another.Starting off in the 2nd world war.

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Thoroughly enjoyable

Loved listening to these wonderful recollections and look forward to the next act.
Thank you Eileen.

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An amazing memoir

I absolutely loved this audio book. Eileen Atkins is a phenomenal actor and her narration of her own biography is a must. Powerful, funny and refreshingly vulnerable.

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Marvellous!!

So many inferences I could SEE as I had been there in my own life! Mostly the youthful scenes and I must buy the book so that I can loan it to the many friends who love Eileen's work as much as I do!! Thank you. Best read/listen to in the last two years!!!

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An honest and vivid memoir

A fascinating insight into a full life and career, from child performer to stage success. An honest account of failings as well as accomplishments.