West End honours Richardson

Published March 20, 2009

Lights will be dimmed for two minutes before curtain up in theatres across London’s West End this evening in a tribute to the late English actress Natasha Richardson, who died in New York on Wednesday night, aged 45.

Last night a similar tribute took place on Broadway, where Richardson’s husband Liam Neeson reportedly watched the theatre district honour the actress by dimming its lights at 20:00.

Richardson, who died after sustaining a head injury whilst skiing at a resort in Canada, was a member of the legendary theatrical dynasty began by her grandparents, Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson. Her mother, the Oscar-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave, and actress sister Joely Richardson were with Neeson and the couple’s two sons at New York’s Lenox Hill hospital when Richardson passed away.

Speaking about tonight’s tribute, Nica Burns, President of the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and co-owner and Chief Executive of Nimax theatres, said: “This is a gesture of condolence at this sad time, and a mark of respect for both Ms Natasha Richardson and her immediate family, and for the Redgrave family as a whole who have made such a unique contribution to British theatre.”

Richardson trained in London at the Central School of Speech and Drama and went on to make her mark on the London stage before heading to Broadway, where she won a Tony Award for her role in Sam Mendes’s production of Cabaret. She was last seen on a London stage in 2003 in The Lady From The Sea at the Almeida theatre.

CB