Eileen Atkins And All The Corrosive Possibilities

Violently gifted, searingly intelligent, and so obviously intolerant of waste and indirection. I dream of Eileen Atkins and all the corrosive possibilities that our union might produce.  Tennessee Williams


From journal notes, 1982:

She came to me as Childie in [The Killing of] Sister George, a play that was considered terribly important in the dank, amber years of my mind. It was very au courant. I thought Atkins quite brilliant, conniving, devious--in all of the best senses of those words. She subverted the play, I think, but in ways that made the play--and my experience of it--superior. I do not think that Eileen Atkins suffers fools, and that was a foolish play, but the spaces of that play in which she walked and sat and thought were elevated.


There was about her then a sense that Millais might have painted her; that she might have modeled, within a time-bend, for his portrait of Ophelia. I always think of her with that sensual mouth, from which secrets that will ultimately devastate you are set to spew, her flowing hair, an angular sensuality that made me think she would accept nothing less in a bedroom than she does on a stage. 


  I often go to work, to the page, and think of parts she could play--both past and forthcoming. I dream of her Hannah, perhaps an Alma, but one that would be able to fight harder and submit sensually. I scribble a lot of things, and Eileen Atkins keeps showing up. There will be a meeting at some point, lovely and corrosive.




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