Old Rage – Sheila Hancock

Published By: Bloomsbury
Pages: 272
Released On: 09/06/2022

Sheila Hancock looked like she was managing old age. She had weathered and even thrived in widowhood, taking on acting roles that would have been demanding for a woman half her age. She had energy, friends, a devoted family, a lovely home. She could still remember her lines.

So why, at 89, having sailed past supposedly disturbing milestones – 50, 70 even 80 – without a qualm, did she suddenly feel so furious? Shocking diagnoses, Brexit and bereavement seemed to knock her from every quarter. And that was before lockdown.

Hone alone, classified as ’extremely vulnerable’, she finds herself yelling at the TV and talking to the pigeons. But she can at least take a long look at life – her work and family, her beliefs (many of them the legacy of her wartime childhood) and, uncomfortable as it might be to face, her future,


Thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

I am a fan of Sheila’s work, and the work of her late husband John Thaw, and she’s always been a presence on British screens, so I was excited to read this. She doesn’t shy away from telling her own opinions and that’s missing in todays world when everyone is so scared of saying the wrong thing.

I realised that maybe I wasn’t as much of a wordsmith as I thought I was, as she uses a lot of words that I didn’t understand and had to look up, so prepare yourself for feeling like an English language novice.

She has been very honest in this book and it’s not always easy to read.

In my opinion, I did feel there was too much ranting about politics and Brexit for my taste, but it’s clearly a passionate topic for her. I would have preferred more about her as a person and her life and career, but maybe she’s done that in her previous books. It’s very much a rambling, like we’re being invited into her world for a chat.

If I’m being honest, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I was a little disappointed overall, but there were some interesting passages and it definitely gives you a feel for the changes in the industry and in the world.

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