Legend to Legend: Vanessa Redgrave & Miriam Margolyes, the Interview!

This interview is a joy — so wish it had been filmed!

Miriam Margolyes, 79, and Vanessa Redgrave, 84, turn out to have been nearly-lifelong friends, and chatted up a storm in a lengthy Q&A&A&Q for The Guardian.

In the piece, Margolyes reminds Redgrave of their earliest meeting when:

“I was a member of the Workers Revolutionary party, and so were you. I met you at Equity meetings and demonstrations with Frances de la Tour and Tom Kempinski. I came from a very middle-class Jewish background, always Tory-voting. And then at university, I was changed into somebody with a heart. I’ve never looked back!v

She goes on to praise Redgrave's technical ability as an actress (they both hate being called "actors") and her honesty, and Redgrave bemoans what will become of the theater post-COVID, noting:

“It will be impossibly hard for most because of the lack of financial support — not only for drama students but the myriads of wonderful creative people, and I count the technical people among them. I don’t really like the division into creatives and technicals. There are all those people whose work was primarily in the West End, and they have no shows – like a trumpeter who I asked to join us outside the National Theatre when we called for some of the people like Netflix to rescue British culture. Last year, I went up to Manchester to get together with [Manchester mayor] Andy Burnham and his team; I went with a wonderful violinist, Jennifer Pike. The idea was to ask the press to help communicate what we mean when we say: support the arts. I asked her to play a piece by Vaughan Williams, The Lark Ascending. It was a favourite of my mum’s. I met Vaughan Williams once. That’s the advantage of being 84. I had tea with him and my mum. Anyway, after Jennifer played, she said: 'This is the first time I’ve played for an audience for months.'”

They also trade some Call the Midwife notes, and Margolyes hilarious asks Redgrave how many husbands she's had, to which Redgrave replies:

“Oh, not enough.”

Read the whole thing here.

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