Based on the paper trails of families of the time, Vanessa Redgrave remembers poignant individuals at a time of political and social turmoil in Vienna 1934 – Munich 1938 (A Work In Progress).
The inspiration for the show centres on Vanessa’s father, the famous actor Michael Redgrave, who in the late 1930s became close friends with the celebrated poet Stephen Spender. Their love affairs, hopes and dreams form the basis of these three public performances, which show the work in progress version of the show following two weeks of workshop rehearsal.
Bringing to life their families’ notebooks, journals, memoirs and stories, Vanessa sheds light on a generation forced to confront the fascist powers seeping through Europe at the time. Amongst the stories explored are those of German writer Thomas Mann, and Stephen’s own tales of a young American woman studying psychology in Vienna. Through her, Stephen and his secretary Tony Hyndman attempted to assist her in obtaining false visas and passports for socialist Jews and their families.
Written and devised by Vanessa, the cast of the show also stars Daisy Bevan, Robert Boulter and Paul Hilton.