Then there’s her formidable list of TV dramas, ranging from doomed romantic novelist Mary Fisher in The Life And Loves Of A She-Devil and the title role in Jemima Shore Investigates, to young barrister Phyllida Erskine-Brown in John Mortimer’s Rumpole Of The Bailey.
Mayhem ensues with romantic intrigue, mistaken identity and a runaway horse, and the play is packed with what Patricia calls ‘joyful characters with thoroughly recognisable frailties.’ Written in 1887, it was last revived in the West End in 1973, with Alastair Sim and Patricia Routledge.
To be able to make people laugh is like finding a bar of 24-carat gold at the end of the rainbow.’Not many serious actresses with a CV like Patricia’s – who had cornered the market in playing upper-class ice-maidens – find themselves becoming a cult comedy figure at the age of 65.
But I don’t really mind, because it’s all rather wonderful for me.
There’s definitely no nudity in her new play, Dandy Dick.
The play co-stars Nicholas Le Prevost as a country vicar, the Very Reverend Augustin Jedd, a pillar of Victorian respectability whose promise to contribute £1,000 to the renovation of the church steeple – together with a couple of spendthrift daughters – has left him in dire straits.
Upstairs in the cocktail lounge, though, we’d get celebrities like Rolf Harris and Violet Carson [Coronation Street’s Ena Sharples].