Remembering Lynn Redgrave

 

           

Hartford Stage mourns the loss of Lynn Redgrave, a remarkable artist and friend of the theatre. Lynn brought her one woman play, Nightingale, to Hartford Stage in 2007.

Aside from her award-winning performances on stage and screen, Lynn will always be remembered for her immense kindness, warmth and generosity. She will be greatly missed by all who admired her incredible talent and by those who had the great fortune to know and work with her.

We extend our thoughts and deepest condolences to the Redgrave family.

 

SHartford Stage mourns the loss of Lynn Redgrave, a remarkable artist and friend of the theatre. Lynn brought her one woman play, Nightingale, to Hartford Stage in 2007.

Aside from her award-winning performances on stage and screen, Lynn will always be remembered for her immense kindness, warmth and generosity. She will be greatly missed by all who admired her incredible talent and by those who had the great fortune to know and work with her.

We extend our thoughts and deepest condolences to the Redgrave family.

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Lynn Redgrave at Hartford Stage

Nightingale


Through July 1, 2007

Reviewed by Donna Bailey-Thompson

Lynn Redgrave’s acting DNA is so deeply embedded that she doesn’t come across as acting at all. Technical accouterments melt away allowing a naturalness to forge the invisible thread that bonds Redgrave with each member of an attentive audience, a person-to-person experience.

Her (supposedly) one-woman play "Nightingale" is a heartfelt tribute to a woman she calls Mildred Asher, an embroidered story inspired when she discovered that at the grave of her real maternal grandmother, acid rain had washed away her name. Born and raised during the emotionally-repressive Victorian Age, Mildred experienced spontaneous, reciprocated loving feelings with her second born, a son, and the tremulous sensations but not consummated desire with a working farmer, a man not of her class, hence no Lady Chatterley she. At the end of her life, memories of the son and the farmer swim in her near-death brain.

Redgrave’s voice – and script – blesses the English language. Her diction is impeccable, its timbre and resonance caress. She articulates the thoughts of a dozen different characters, shifting identities instantaneously – both gender and age. The first time Mildred speaks, she is 11 – a child’s voice. Redgrave has become Mildred. She also becomes those who impact Mildred’s life – mother, husband, the farmer, sister, toddler Rose, son Mark and the messenger of his death, and others. With the voices come attitude shifts -- facial and body. In a less gifted actor, these would be tricks whereas Redgrave is the instrument of embodiment.

“Nightingale”exudes empathy. Director Joseph Hardy and writer/actress Redgrave have connected symbiotically as have the ethereal scenic design of Tobin Ost and lighting design of Rui Rita and Jeff Nellis. The costume design of Alejo Vietti is effortlessly adapted to changing moods, and the original music by John Gromada is appropriately subtle.

Presented without an intermission, 90 minutes slip by until like Mildred who muses, "I thought I had all the time in the world," our own mortality is handed to us obliquely, in a manner befitting Victorian decorum.


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