From our files: An interview with Lynn Redgrave
In 1993, Monitor correspondent Tony Vellela spoke with Lynn Redgrave, the 1960s acting sensation who later dramatized her own troubled past in a one-woman show titled "Shakespeare for My Father." Lynn Redgrave passed away on Sunday.
In 1993, Monitor correspondent Tony Vellela spoke with Lynn Redgrave, the 1960s acting sensation who later dramatized her own troubled past in a one-woman show titled "Shakespeare for My Father." Lynn Redgrave was a prominent member of an English acting dynasty that includes sister Vanessa Redgrave and daughter Natasha Richardson, who died last year in a skiing accident. Lynn Redgrave passed away on Sunday.Skip to next paragraph
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From the May 28, 1993 edition of The Christian Science Monitor:
Fresh from her Tony nomination for best actress, Lynn Redgrave settles back into the flower-print sofa, backstage at New York's Helen Hayes Theatre. "Shakespeare for My Father," the one-woman show she conceived and wrote that chronicles her relationship with her famed British actor father, Michael Redgrave, has just had its run extended, and she is enjoying a light dinner between matinee and evening shows.
"After my father's death in 1985, people - complete strangers - would say `I'm sorry about your father,' and then invariably they would talk about their own fathers," she recalls. In 1991, when the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington invited her to do a special program commemorating the 60th anniversary of the formation of the Shakespeare Society, an idea was born.
Instead of a simple evening of best-loved Shakespeare passages peppered with anecdotes, the actress seized the opportunity to fashion a short play, interspersing family history, theater lore, and well-known speeches. The evening was a great success and sparked a plan to expand it into full production. Given that the Folger audience was made up of Shakespeare aficionados, she wondered "would it play in Oklahoma?" It did. Following a tour through the United States, "Shakespeare for My Father" opened to cri tical and public acclaim on Broadway in April.
Redgrave's career has taken her from recognition in the 1966 film "Georgy Girl" while still a teenager, through years of classical and contemporary theater work in New York and London. Included along the way were such diverse projects as television situation comedy and the recent PBS Masterpiece Theatre miniseries "Calling the Shots."
This newest project, however, ties together personal and professional elements. She summoned the courage to explore her feelings about her father, by all accounts a distant, remote, and frequently absent parent.