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Redgrave to return to RSC for Hecuba tragedy

Preview by Jack Foley

SCREEN veteran, Vanessa Redgrave, is to follow in the footsteps of Dame Judi Dench, by returning to the Royal Shakespeare Company, after 40 years.

The actress will appear in a Euripides’ ancient Greek classic, Hecuba, which will open at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in February 2005, before transferring to the West End in the Spring, and moving on to the Kennedy Centre, in Washington, DC.

Dating back to the fifth century BC, Hecuba is the tragedy of the Queen of Troy and her family during the Trojan wars.

The lavish production is to be directed by RSC associate director, Laurence Boswell, who has already staged the play, in 1992, at London’s Gate Theatre.

It will arrive in the capital fairly hot-on-the-heels of the Donmar Warehouse’s new version of the play, by Frank McGuinness, and directed by Jonathan Kent, which runs from September 9 to November 13.

Redgrave’s last RSC performance was as Imogen, in Cymbeline, in 1992, while her most recent London stage credits include The Cherry Orchard, at the National, in which she appeared opposite her brother; Song at Twilight, and The Tempest, at Shakespeare’s Globe.

Last year, she starred in the Broadway revival of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night, a performance which won her the 2003 Tony Award for Best Actress.

She has also enjoyed a distinguished film career, appearing in hit movies such as The Pledge, Girl, Interrupted, Mission: Impossible, Howard's End, Mary, Queen of Scots and Murder on the Orient Express.

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