British actress Harriet Walter — whose services to drama were recognized by an appointment as dame commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 2011 — will deliver the 23rd annual Maynard Mack Lecture at Yale University on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 5:15 p.m. at Linsly-Chittenden Hall, Rm. 102, 63 High St. The event is free and open to the public.
The title of her lecture is “A Serious Job for a Woman?” Walter notes, “It is a common complaint and acknowledged fact that women are under-represented in drama, whether in theater or films, and the lack grows even greater as women age.”
Walter has worked extensively in theater, television, film, and radio. An associate artist with the Royal Shakespeare Company, she has played Cleopatra in “Antony and Cleopatra” alongside Patrick Stewart, Beatrice in “Much Ado About Nothing,” and Lady Macbeth opposite Anthony Sher. She also earned acclaim for her roles in “The Duchess of Malfi,” “All’s Well That Ends Well” (with Peggy Ashcroft), “Twelfth Night, “and “The Three Sisters.”
She received a Laurence Olivier theater award in 1989 and has been in more than 20 films, including “The Young Victoria,” “Atonement,” “Bright Young Things,” “Sense and Sensibility,” and Louis Malle’s “Milou et Mai.”
Walter has appeared many times on television — most recently as Lady Shackleton in the opening episode of Season 4 of the British series “Downton Abbey.”
She is the author of three books: “Macbeth (Actors on Shakespeare),” “Other People's Shoes,” and “Facing It: Reflections on Images of Older Women.”
The Maynard Mack lecture is administered by and endowed through the Elizabethan Club of Yale University. Each year the lectureship brings to Yale a distinguished theater practitioner to speak on a topic of his or her choice. It honors the late Maynard Mack, Sterling Professor of English at Yale, an eminent scholar of Shakespeare, Pope, and other literary figures.