Corin Redgrave 1939-2010

Scion of the theatrical dynasty dies at 70.

The actor Corin Redgrave, scion of the Redgrave theatrical dynasty, has died, his family announced today. Redgrave suffered a heart attack in 2005 and only returned to the stage last year, playing the Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.

Redgrave was an occasional contributor to the New Statesman. And last year, he gave a short interview to the magazine, reproduced below.

 

Does art make a difference?

Yes. To me, most of the time. In fact, all of the time. It allows me to say what I feel, what I think. Everything that needs to be said. For some in oppressed or deprived countries, it is the only way they can express themselves.

Should politics and art mix?

Yes, they should. In fact, for me they always do. Of course, not all my work as an artist is political, but I think I am a political artist.

Is good art a product of inspiration or perspiration?

This is a good question. Not that I always feel inspired -- although I hope to be -- but when I work hard I do perspire!

Does money corrupt an artist?

In my career, unfortunately, I have never been paid sufficiently to imagine that I have been corrupted. I wish I had been. I should like to be, always.

Is your work for the many or for the few?

Both. I have done films and television which undoubtedly were seen by larger audiences. I have done plays which have been seen in tiny theatres by very small audiences or, for that matter, sometimes even in larger theatres.

Which artist do you most admire?

My sister, Vanessa. Because she always loves her work and puts herself completely into it.

Which artist do you least admire?

Myself. I don't think there is anything particularly admirable about my work.

What inspires you?

An artist whose work has changed the world and allowed us to understand it better.

Where do you work best?

In theatres such as the National Theatre.

If you weren't an artist, what would you be?

I would be a teacher, I think.

If you were world leader, what would be your first law?

Abolish all destructive weapons.

Who would be your top advisers?

My family, or just people I meet in the street every day, in pubs or restaurants.

What would you censor?

Nothing at all.

What would you legalise?

Anything that needed the help of the law to make it really disreputable.

Who would you banish?

Our present Prime Minister.

What are the rules that you live by?

I don't live by any rules but if there were one, it would be to enjoy myself. I should live by that.

What couldn't you live without?

Sex!

What would you like your legacy to be?

I would give a lot of money to help people enjoy themselves.

Do you love your country?

Yes, I do. But not, of course, more than any other country.

Are we all doomed?

No, not all of us. Not even myself.

Jonathan Derbyshire is Managing Editor of Prospect. He was formerly Culture Editor of the New Statesman.

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Hillary and the Viking: dramatising life with the Clintons

August radio should be like a corkboard, with a few gems pinned here and there. Heck, Don’t Vote for Him is one.

Now is the season of repeats and stand-in presenters. Nobody minds. August radio ought to be like a corkboard – things seemingly long pinned and faded (an Angela Lansbury doc on Radio 2; an adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s The Professor on Radio 4 Extra) and then the occasional bright fragment. Like Martha Argerich playing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No 1 at the Albert Hall (Prom 43, 17 August).

But on Radio 4, two new things really stand out. An edition of In the Criminologist’s Chair (16 August, 4pm) in which the former bank robber (and diagnosed psychopath) Noel “Razor” Smith recalls, among other memorable moments, sitting inside a getaway car watching one of his fellows “kissing his bullets” before loading. And three new dramas imagining key episodes in the Clintons’ personal and political lives.

In the first (Heck, Don’t Vote for Him, 6 August, 2.30pm), Hillary battles with all the “long-rumoured allegations of marital infidelity” during the 1992 Democratic primaries. Fenella Woolgar’s (brilliant, unburlesqued) Hillary sounds like a woman very often wearing a fantastically unhappy grin, watching her own political ambitions slip through her fingers. “I deserve something,” she appeals to her husband, insisting on the position of attorney general should he make it to the top – but “the Viking” (his nickname at college, due to his great head of hair) is off, gladhanding the room. You can hear Woolgar’s silent flinch, and picture Hillary’s face as it has been these past, disquieting months, very clearly.

I once saw Bill Clinton speak at a community college in New Jersey during the 2008 Obama campaign. Although disposed not to like him, I found his wattage, without question, staggering. Sweeping through the doors of the canteen, he amusedly removed the microphone from the hands of the MC (a local baseball star), switched it off, and projected for 25 fluent minutes (no notes). Before leaving he turned and considered the smallest member of the audience – a cross-legged child clutching a picture book of presidents. In one gesture, Clinton flipped it out of the boy’s hands, signed the cover – a picture of Lincoln – and was gone.

Antonia Quirke is an author and journalist. She is a presenter on The Film Programme and Pick of the Week (Radio 4) and Film 2015 and The One Show (BBC 1). She writes a column on radio for the New Statesman.

This article first appeared in the 28 July 2016 issue of the New Statesman, Summer Double Issue