Vanessa Redgrave in conversation

Multi-award winning actress and political activist Vanessa Redgrave CBE joined BBC journalist Jenny Cuffe at St Swithun's in conversation about her life on Sunday.

The evening was organised by SWVG (Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group) in conjunction with the Theatre Royal Winchester. SWVG provide help and support to refugees in the Southampton area. One of the organisation’s founders, Mrs Shirley Firth, mother of actor Colin Firth, also attended the event.

The event took place in front of an audience of over 200 in the school’s performing arts centre, and Ms Redgrave discussed her many performances, interspersed with clips from her career. These included a piece from King Lear, with Vanessa performing with her late father Sir Michael Redgrave and The Call Out, directed by her son Carlo Nero, who was also present and joined the discussion.

As an actress who has combined her career with political activism Vanessa Redgrave was keen to discuss her involvement in campaigns for many human rights issues including the war against Iraq, the liberation of Palestine, and the plight of young women as asylum seekers. She answered many questions from the audience: one particular question asked if she ever switched off from her intense campaigning and acting to which she replied by wondering if you ever switch off from life.

With headmistress Jane Gandee

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