"V" To Her Friends



This past weekend I had the honour and privilege to witness a stage performance from our greatest living actress. I speak, of course, of Vanessa Redgrave, who is currently starring opposite James Earl Jones in the Broadway debut of Alfred Uhry’s ‘Driving Miss Daisy.’

I can’t say that I’m a huge admirer of the play itself. It has much to recommend it, of course, not least of which is the way in which it’s able to be quietly subversive in its social and racial politics while masquerading as something far more sentimental and homespun. That said, though, at the end of the day it isn’t the sort of play that stay’s with you for very long after you’ve seen it…at least, that’s how it is for me.

But the performances! Ah, they stay with me to this very moment. And I do say “they,” as James Earl Jones was truly wonderful in his role. But it was Vanessa Redgrave that bowled me over and had me transfixed by her every utterance and movement. I was like a little child who, after much fighting off of the urge to sleep, finally got to see Father Christmas appear in the room. I suppose, in truth, she could have been acting in just about anything and my sense of awe and admiration would’ve been the same. What is that strange something that only a very small few ever possess that make them seem almost otherworldly? She has it, but I have no idea what it is.

I read that in June of this year, she’d announced that she was taking a break from her acting career in order to spend more time with her family. It didn’t last very long…and I’m very glad.

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