Lynn Redgrave passed today and when I heard the news my heart sank.
In my mind she was a friend, a creative and an inspiration to me, even though I never knew her personally.
In 1993 when I lived in New York I went to see her stunning one-woman show ( with my mom) called, Shakespeare for My Father and I was transformed.
In doing some research online today I saw that she wrote in the foreword to Shakespeare for My Father, she was out of work and set off on a “journey that began almost as an act of desperation,” writing a play out of her “passionately emotional desire” to better understand her father, who had died in 1985.
And what she achieved was so much-including forgiving her father for being a failure as a parent.
“I didn’t really know him,” Redgrave said. “I lived in his house. I was in awe of him and I adored him, and I was terrified of him and I hated him and I loved him, all in one go.”
How many of us can relate to these words about our fathers’?
I was especially moved today because somehow her show, her creativity, her inspiration got into me and helped me to forgive my father when in 1995 he took my mother’s life.
In 1998, as an actress in Los Angeles, and steeped in the pain and shame from what happened in my life I was guided to start writing my own one-woman show to learn how to forgive my father.
It’s titled My Brooklyn Hamlet (because my dad married my mother’s sister after he took my mom’s life). And I tap into Shakespeare’s character of Hamlet to get through some of the most emotional moments of my life in the show.
This summer I take it to London and I dedicate this tour to someone I didn’t know personally-but who inspired me in unimaginable ways–Lynn Redgrave. Thank you for making a difference in my life.