At the end of his days, ill in his hospital bed with the curtains drawn, Michael Redgrave assumed the noise in the ward was, as Alan Strachan writes, "the buzz of an anticipatory audience." At one point his daughter Vanessa told her father it was not really a theatre but a hospital. Reality had its position by the bed but reality is never alone.

A while passed and Michael looked up at his daughter Lynn. "By the way," he said, "how's the house?" She told him he had a capacity audience and made sure he knew his name was above the title.

--- From Andrew O'Hagan's review of
Scarlet Dreams (Weidenfeld)
in the London Review of Books
5 August 2004
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