This adaptation of 'The Bench of Desolation' is really a showcase for Eileen Atkins and Michael Bryant and was the opening episode of the Henry James anthology series 'Affairs of the Heart'. Like others in the series it is titled after a major female character, in this case 'Kate' (Atkins).
She is first seen in a discussion with Cookham, the bookseller (Bryant), who wants to break off their engagement - Kate threatens breach of promise action and then proceeds to carry out her threat; but what's really behind it? And what secrets and lies will come to the fore on the bench where they meet many years later? Atkins is a powerful actress who portrays many of Kate's feelings from bitterness to despair; as such she is perfect casting; Bryant is also very effective in his role. Although there are others in this version - notably Bernard Lee as a friend of Bryant's - who are good; it is the two main actors who dominate this adaptation, and for the better.
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