(Doing our best to bring you John Simon reviews of plays he actually liked, this article appeared on Bloomberg, Nov. 4.)

Ill, Unfazed Redgrave Real Trouper in ‘Nightingale’: John Simon

Nov. 4 (Bloomberg) — Lynn Redgrave’s solo performance in “Nightingale,” which she also wrote, marks a triple triumph: For the woman, battling cancer for four years; for the actress, at her peak after four decades; and for the Redgrave clan, which hereby surpasses the mighty Barrymores as the royal family of stage and screen.

Essentially a tribute to her maternal grandmother, Beatrice “Beanie” Kempson, “Nightingale” encompasses a bunch of Redgraves, Lynn included. She is already a veteran of several family plays, notably the superb tribute to her dad, Michael Redgrave, “Shakespeare for My Father,” which this one very nearly equals.

The unsparing Fates have tried to beat Lynn down, without success. Not only has she had a large tumor removed, she also saw her 32-year marriage to her manager, John Clark, go bust when it was revealed that the single mother whom her son married was in fact the mom of John’s adulterously begotten daughter.


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