Excerpts from Vanessa Redgrave's Autobiography:

 

Excerpts from VANESSA REDGRAVE'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY:

 

She filmed The Trojan Women in Summer of 1970 and became pregnant with Franco Nero's second child. She then went on the film the Devils in November of 1970. She miscarried that baby around then.

In June of 1971 she begin:

In June I began filming Mary Queen of Scots for producer Hal Wallis. Timothy Dalton played Darnley. "Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediment," Shakespeare wrote, Franco and I had quarreled that Easter because he did not wish me to take our son Carlo to France to join my ex-husband Tony and their daughters. There was no way I could agree to this decree, so I went to France, knowing that this meant I would not see Franco again for a long time.

She was now 34 and Tim 23. She continues:

From the moment I met Timothy Dalton we could agree on only one thing consistently, and that was fishing. Regular quarrels are not the steady basis for a marriage of true minds, but there always remained the possibility of reconciliation with the three men I have really loved. One of the first arguments Timothy and I ever had was about a speech from Hamlet - "To be, or not to be" He asked me, "What do you think this means?" I told him, and we argued for about six hours. Although we should have had a discussion rather that a row, it is nevertheless extremely stimulating to talk with another actor who wants so passionately to find out what a playwright means in a particular passage. It can also be extremely exasperating, but Tim made me think, and over the years, as we acted a great deal together, in the film of Agatha and in The Taming of the Shrew and Antony and Cleopatra in 1986, and A Touch Of The Poet in 1988, the keynote of our professional life has been our volatility and directness.

As time goes by, I find fewer and fewer people, even friends, or especially friends, who will spend time discussing and analyzing a production or performance, whether mine or someone else's. So I always valued the fact that Tim cared enough to talk for hours, giving me strong criticism of my own work and explaining what he thought was wrong. While this too would usually end in an argument, I did know that IF he had praise, then I really had hit the bull's-eye. His own stage performances, as Petruchio in the Shrew, and especially as Con Melody in O'Neill's Touch of the Poet, were remarkable.

It was Tim who taught me to use a rod and line, first in rivers and the sea, coarse fishing, and later with the fly. Fishing, a sport that usually enables men to seize a few hours of solitude away from their wives, brought us together. Over the years we spent many hours along riverbanks in Derbyshire, Suffolk, and Kent, many more on the loughs and strands of Ireland, and some unforgettable days on the wooden fishing boat of Ralph Comacho as he scoured the banks off Antigua. When I saw A River Runs Through It, the film exactly captured the obsessions enjoy that seizes you as you cast that fly again and again, fingers gentle on the line as it carries round in arc over the pool, and suddenly-the take.

She doesn't bring up Tim again until spring of 1974, she says:

They (her daughters) understood my grief when Timothy Dalton broke off our relationship because I told him I was going to a big rally for trade unionist in Manchester one Sunday afternoon when he wanted me to stay with him. We had both been very much in love, and so it was all the worse that he could not accept what I was doing. I went to the rally and sang at a concert afterward. I listened to the speeches and sang. I knew that I could not and would not give up. Since my early childhood I had been convinced that fascism, war, and the destruction of people because of their race, religion, or politics must be fought against. I cried coming back on the train and again the next morning at breakfast. Natasha and Joely put their arms about me. I told then why I was crying and they comforted me.

In 1976 Vanessa goes to Manhattan to do An Ibsen play Lady from the Sea with her ex-husband Tony Richardson. She writes:

Tim Dalton and I had got back together again, he came to New York from filming in Los Angeles with Mae West. He saw the play, and his criticism drove me to reexamine what I was doing. I realized that in demonstrating what was happening to my character I was avoiding the contradictions in her moments of development. I was acting what she knew and avoiding all the things she did not know understand. "Science has to investigate what we do not know. She starts that the reviews on opening night were great. Now in 1977, after Julia is made and she is doing a publicity tour for it.

In June 1977 she says : From Las Vegas I flew to San Francisco, where Timothy Dalton and I sat spellbound in the Old Theatre watching my father in Shakespeare's people.

Vanessa now does not refer to Tim until 1986:

There are certain roles that haunt you, teasing your imagination, daring you to play them again. Cleopatra is one. My first attempt had been interrupted by what insurers describe as force majeure, the cloudburst that swamped Sam Wanamaker's tent theatre on Bankside. I waited twelve years before my next attempt. It began well enough. Tim Dalton and I sat down with Duncan Weldon and planned a season at the Haymarket in which we would play Antony and Cleopatra and The Taming of the Shrew in repertory. In 1986 it was almost impossible to find an impresario who would risk producing a straight play in the West End with a company of 22 actors. But Duncan agreed. Having crossed that bridge, we decided that anything was possible and embarked on rehearsals at the Chiswick Social Club in high spirits. I had moved from the house in Ravenscourt Road to a flat in a mansion block on Chiswick High Road. I loved my new flat, which had nice rooms for Carlo and Joely, and relished the thought of walking a mere fifty yards down the road to rehearsals. It had been a cold winter, and the first morning of rehearsals in February was also the first whiff of spring.

By the time we were about to open, in April, for a six-week pre-London Season at Theater Clwyd, North Wales, I was in despair. I had chosen a long blond wig, which everyone's opinion except mine was, a disaster, and I was using it to hide from the audience. Kika Markham, Corin's second wife, played Octavia. She remembers coming into my dressing room and seeing me covering my face with plague spots. Apparently I said they were freckles. Tim and I had reached a natural pause in our relationship, but I could not recognize it at the time and there was sadness and tension between us. The local papers were absolutely scathing about our first performance. Actors usually dismiss their notices in provincial papers in the belief that their praise is too easily won and their criticism too uninformed to matter, but in this case we had an uncomfortable feeling the North Wales Echo was right.

She then talks about reviewing her wig decision and how she was playing the role and things seemed to get a little better for her spirits. At this time the Chernobyl accident occurs and she describes in several paragraphs her feelings on this disaster.

She then gets back to the play: In August we were playing Antony and The Taming of the Shrew at the Haymarket. Somehow we had survived, with good reviews and excellent audiences, and Tim's Petruchio was brilliant.

She then goes on to say that there was a lot of discussion about going on tour with these shows because they had turned out so successful. But one of the key actors in the play got pregnant and Vanessa said that she did not want to go through rehearsing with a whole new person. So they started to talk about some new play.

VINTAGE VANESSA

Vanity Fair, December '94, page 31

...What about regrets for herself: has she given up too much for her art and her politics. (In her book the breakup with Timothy Dalton over her commitment to revolution, and the beseeching from her children for more of her time is condensed into a single stoic page). "I don't think I have lost anything though I have lost a lot of work, but anyway, it's not the effect on me but on others that counts. It's been very difficult for the children, who often didn't see me for a long time. But I'm really glad that I stayed really close to the men that I've loved and the men who've loved me. I think it was rather wonderful of them to put up with me."

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