Hall Follows Royal Family with Redgrave FamilyDate: 5 November 2001
Peter Hall will follow his current stage project - the just-opened, Judi Dench-led The Royal Family - with another all-star revival at the West End's Theatre Royal Haymarket. This time Hall will return to the work of Oscar Wilde with a new production of Lady Windermere's Fan, starring Vanessa Redgrave as well as her daughter Joely Richardson. The comedy will open at the Haymarket on 21 February 2002, quick on the heels of The Royal Family, which is scheduled for a 2 February finish.
Hall had tremendous success in the 1990s with another Wilde classic, An Ideal Husband. It ran for some seven years calling at a string of West End venues as well as enjoying a successful Broadway run and national tour of Australia. During its marathon existence, the production had three separate seasons at the Haymarket alone.
The Theatre Royal has had no shortage of other Wilde productions either. Another production of Lady Windermere's Fan was seen here in 1997 while The Importance of Being Earnest and A Woman of No Importance have also had recent outings. In Wilde's own day, both A Woman of No Importance and An Ideal Husband were premiered at the theatre in 1893.
Like much of Wilde's best work, Lady Windermere's Fan is a satirical expose of the English aristocracy, with plenty of rakish young fops, mistaken identities and scandal. On the morning of his wife's 21st birthday, Lord Windermere gives her a beautiful fan, as a token of his love. But, the Lady soon discovers, that love is not as secure as she once believed. Who is the strange Mrs Erlynne and what is her husband's involvement with her? Within 24 hours, the happiness of Lord and Lady Windermere is teetering on the edge of disaster.
Vanessa Redgrave's recent stage credits include, opposite her brother Corin, The Cherry Orchard (at the National) and Song at Twilight (Gielgud), and at Shakespeare's Globe, The Tempest, in which she played Prospero. Her myriad film credits include The Pledge, Girl, Interrupted, Mrs Dalloway, Mission: Impossible, Smilla's Sense of Snow, Howard's End, A Man for All Seasons, Mary, Queen of Scots and Murder on the Orient Express.
Daughter Joely's stage credits include a season with the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Flood (Almeida), Beauty and the Beast (Liverpool Playhouse), Steel Magnolias (West End) and a previous production of Lady Windermere's Fan (Bristol Old Vic). Of late, she's been seen more frequently in films such as Maybe Baby, 101 Dalmations and The Patriot.
- by Terri Paddock