Shakespeare for My Father

Wednesday, 13 November, 1996

This one woman show is written and stars Lynn Redgrave. She tells her own personal story of her childhood relationship with her father, Sir Michael Redgrave CBE. We hear how she is the odd one out and never really gets close to her father and how she wished to become an actress. In fact, she comes from a family of actors, her sister is Venessa Redgrave, her brother, Corin Redgrave and of course her father is a famous actor, director and author.

Lynn tells the story very emotionally and cleverly. As a child it was her belief that learning about Shakespeare characters would help her to relate more to her Shakespearian, actor father. Hoping to bring her closer to him and get noticed more.

There are a lot of comic touches, particularly when she tells stories and acts out scenes of when she met people like Maggie Smith , Noel Coward, Richard Burton, Dame Edith Evans and others. When talking about these actors she would imitate them, and she did this very well. Her actions and voice were just like the real people.

As I said this is a touching play, made more so because it is a true story and you feel that Lynn is still coming to terms with her tormented childhood with her father, and is using the stage to express this.

It may not appeal to everyone, I noticed two elderly people next to me did not come back after the interval, but the audience gave Lynn a standing ovation at the end. I found it all different, refreshing and very moving.

(Darren Dalglish)

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