A theatre visit and Match of the Day put Honor Black­man at ease af­ter a hec­tic week

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - Living -

A visit to the theatre on Fri­day evening is a nice way to start the week­end. I have lived in Not­ting Hill in west Lon­don for 13 years and I wouldn’t move a mus­cle — it’s so handy for ev­ery­thing. I’m go­ing to the Apollo to see Jes­sica Lange in The Glass Menagerie. I played her part, Amanda, in York a few years ago. I also played an­other char­ac­ter, Laura, when I was 22, in Canada. It’s a thrilling play and Jes­sica Lange is a fab­u­lous ac­tress. I’d like to bet that she has also played Laura, but I wouldn’t have the sauce to go back­stage and ask her. She might say: “Who the hell are you?”

Af­ter­wards we’ll eat at Joe Allen, in Ex­eter Street, Covent Gar­den. It stays open late and you al­ways see some­one you know there. I have a new com­pan­ion to take to the mati­nee. His name is Os­car, he’s nearly four and he’s the old­est of my four grand­chil­dren. I was in my mid-70s be­fore I had grand­chil­dren. Then, like a num­ber 11 bus, four came in rapid suc­ces­sion. I have just taken Os­car to see Mary Pop­pins. It was the first time he had been to a proper theatre and he was thrilled to pieces. Sadly there are very few shows for young chil­dren.

On Satur­day, I like to lie in bed for a while and re­cover. Then, if I’m hav­ing sup­per at home, I walk to the farm­ers’ mar­ket near my house to buy fresh veg­eta­bles and fish. I never eat ready-made meals and re­sist the lovely chut­neys and jams be­cause when my chil­dren Barn­aby and Lot­tie visit, they go through the pantry say­ing “Mummy, this is dated 2004!” and chuck it out.

If I don’t make the mar­ket I of­ten meet a friend for lunch at Kens­ing­ton Place at the top of Kens­ing­ton Church Street. It’s noisy but nice. Af­ter that I cer­tainly won’t want to go out again. I rarely watch day­time TV — it’s far too bor­ing — but Match of the Day is the ex­cep­tion.

I love watch­ing foot­ball, es­pe­cially if Manch­ester United or Chelsea are play­ing. My first hus­band, Bill Sankey, was a ter­rific foot­ball player. I used to watch him play and got hooked. My sec­ond hus­band, Mau­rice Kauf­mann, also liked foot­ball. He played for the TV All Stars and we used to sup­port Ful­ham to­gether when I wasn’t work­ing.

My fam­ily would like to take me to see a live match, but it’s mar­vel­lous watch­ing foot­ball on the box. You can see the skill and the cheat­ing and foul­ing and div­ing. I shout out loud. One of my most trea­sured pos­ses­sions is a tro­phy shirt signed by Frank Lam­pard. An­other favourite player of mine is Alan Shearer.

On Satur­day evening, and in­deed any spare mo­ment, I like to settle down with a book. I’m read­ing the won­der­ful Alan Ben­nett Di­aries and Win­ter in Madrid by CJ San­som. It’s of great in­ter­est to me be­cause it’s about the Span­ish Civil War and I was film­ing in Spain around 1951. The film must have been rub­bish be­cause I never saw it, but I be­came in­trigued with the peo­ple who were in­volved in the war and still love to visit Spain.

On Sun­day it’s a treat if the chil­dren bring the grand­chil­dren to see me. Barn­aby lives in Lon­don and when he ar­rives with his two we take them to a nearby park, to work off their en­ergy on the swings and round­abouts. Lot­tie re­cently moved to Lewes in East Sus­sex and it’s eas­ier for me to travel to her. I go by train, which means I can read my book and not get ex­as­per­ated in the traf­fic.

If I’m do­ing noth­ing much on Sun­day, I might have friends around in the evening for din­ner, but never more than four. I don’t en­joy cook­ing but I have the an­swer – a cook called Paul. He brings some dishes, per­haps a casse­role, with him and does the fresh veg­eta­bles here. He then serves and clears away af­ter­wards. I don’t do a thing, which is how I like it.

I’ll make a bit of an ef­fort to dress up, but it won’t be the di­a­monds.

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