LETTERS FROM AN ACTOR by William Redfield


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Mr. Redfield was involved in one of the momentous events of recent Broadway history: the production of the Sir John Gielgud-Richard Burton Hamlet. And these letters written quite candidly with an eye to publication, are not the usual post-closing notice memoir or lament. They do relate the trials and tribulations of the rehearsal stages from an actor's point of view with all his vulnerability, frustrations, doubts and special insight. Fortunately Mr. Redfield has a great deal of wit and charm and a reckless ego. He doesn't hesitate to comment when he feels strongly: ""As an actor, Brando must be either forgotten or fondly remembered."" Neither was he particularly pleased with the eminent Sir John's direction or Mr. Burton's interpretation let alone his own handling of the role of Guildenstern. But this tale of massive talents in conflict or striving to connect with one another is handled with unusual facility and perception. You feel you really have gotten to know the cast of characters right up to the point where Burton hears his first Boo and goes home to kick in the television set. There are also some fascinating anecdotes about the English theatre and in particular, Laurence Olivier. A fine performance, Mr. Redfield.

Pub Date: Feb. 21st, 1966
Publisher: Viking