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.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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New Harry Potter and the Cursed Child pictures: an analysis

What do the new cast photos tell us about what we can expect from the Harry Potter play?

With the first public performance only a week away, the team behind Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have released the first in costume cast photos of three of its stars: Harry, Ginny and their son, Albus.

But what do the new pictures tell us about what we can expect from the play? Here’s your annotated guide.

Harry

Harry is suited up like the civil servant we know he has become. When we left him at the end of book seven, he was working for the Ministry of Magic: JK Rowling has since revealed he became the youngest head of the Auror Office at 26, and the play description calls Harry “an overworked employee of the Ministry”. Jamie Parker’s costume suggests a blend of the traditional establishment with Harry’s rebelliousness and familiarity with danger.

Parker told Pottermore of the costume, “He’s wearing a suit because he’s a Ministry man, but he’s not just a bloke in a suit, that’s way too anonymous.”

Ginny

Ginny looks like a mix of the cool girl we know and love, blended with her mother, and a little something else. She has a perfect journalist’s bob (Ginny became a Quidditch reporter after a career as a professional player), paired with a “gorgeous, hand-knitted jumper” reminiscent of the Weasley’s Christmas sweaters. In silhouette, she might look like her mum with an edgier haircut, but with (literally) cooler colours and fabrics.

Actress Poppy Miller said the costume matches Ginny’s personality: “Kind and cool, exactly as I imagined her.”

Albus

Albus’s costume is perhaps more interesting for what it hides than what it reveals – we are given no suggestion of what house he might be sorted into at Hogwarts. This is particularly interesting knowing Albus’s nerves about being sorted: the final book ended with him asking his father, “What if I’m in Slytherin?”. Rowling writes, “The whisper was for his father alone, and Harry knew that only the moment of departure could have forced Albus to reveal how great and sincere that fear was.”

Actor Sam Clemmett said, “This is what Albus wears at the start of the show. I had the idea he was wearing James’s – his older brother’s – hand-me-downs. So I wanted him to feel quite uncomfortable, and be able to play with his clothes.”

His oversized second-hand clothes also emphasise how important the role of family inheritance will be in the play. The only reminder of Albus’s older siblings, they call to mind both his Weasley heritage (Ginny and her siblings were teased for their hand-me-down robes) and the enormous legacy of his father. The play description notes, “While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted.”

Family portrait

Again, this group picture is interesting for absences – there are no Potter siblings here, further suggesting that Albus will be the main focus of this new story. It also continues to place an emphasis on family through the generations – if Albus donned a pair of specs, this could easily be a picture of James, Lily and Harry. Even the posture is reminiscent of the Mirror of Erised shot from the first movie.

An intriguing hint at what next week’s play might hold for audiences.

Anna Leszkiewicz is a pop culture writer at the New Statesman.