SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Vanessa Redgrave’s fury at Victoria and Albert Museum’s ‘fearful lack of knowledge’ over planned cuts
A celebrated star of screen and stage, Vanessa Redgrave has accused the Victoria and Albert Museum of a ‘fearful lack of knowledge’ over cuts planned by its director, the former Labour minister Tristram Hunt.
The actress is furious that Hunt plans to axe its theatre and performance department, which is home to her father Sir Michael Redgrave’s archive.
‘I believe that the V&A rightly received Covid furlough money for wages and vital expenditures during this prolonged lockdown,’ says the Call The Midwife narrator.
‘I am shocked to learn that the museum is now actively considering [making redundant] many of the staff who have curated and cared for the costumes, posters, stage properties and videos that are in the theatre department.’
Vanessa Redgrave has accused the Victoria and Albert Museum of a ‘fearful lack of knowledge’
The museum, based in South Kensington, London, plans to abolish the department as part of a staffing restructure in response to the financial impact of Covid-19. It would join the furniture, textiles and fashion department.
Redgrave, 84 (right), adds: ‘Unless these artefacts are curated and cared for prior to or following their transfer [to V&A East at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park], this unique and priceless heritage will be damaged and can disappear.
‘The very idea of making this skilled V&A staff redundant reveals a fearful lack of knowledge.’
Her father was a distinguished actor, director and author who died in 1985.
Last month, the Public and Commercial Services Union said 50 out of 200 jobs across the organisation’s curatorial and research departments, library and archive were at risk.
The museum, based in South Kensington, London, plans to abolish the department as part of a staffing restructure in response to the financial impact of Covid-19
A V&A spokesman says: ‘While we have received some emergency support, the catastrophic financial situation means we have no choice but to explore all routes to reduce costs across the museum.
‘However, preserving the National Collection of Theatre and Performance remains fundamental to the V&A’s mission as the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance.’
Idris’s anniversary day takes the biscuit
He’s in the running to play the next James Bond, but unlike the fictional ladies’ man, Idris Elba only has eyes for one woman.
The 48-year-old actor was delighted to celebrate his second wedding anniversary with Sabrina, 32 — a former Miss Vancouver — at the weekend.
Idris Elba celebrated his second anniversary with wife Sabrina by feasting on a giant cookie
While such an occasion is traditionally marked with cotton, the couple, who met at a jazz bar in Canada in 2016, celebrated at their London home with a giant cookie.
Sharing a picture of themselves about to take the first bite, Idris, who contracted Covid-19 last year, wrote to her in the caption: ‘The last year has been one of the toughest of my life and I only got through it because of you.’
Sharing a name with a Hollywood star led to a case of mistaken identity for TV presenter Davina McCall’s boyfriend, celebrity hairdresser Michael Douglas. ‘A journalist rang my agent and said: “We’d love to interview Michael.” I was like, “This is amazing!”’ recalls Lancastrian Michael, who’s 46. ‘I haven’t been on TV that much . . . and it turned out they wanted the other Michael Douglas . . . ’ Oh, well.
Di’s pal Julia swears by it
Princess Diana’s therapist friend Julia Samuel, who is a godmother to Prince George, is encouraging people to use more profanities to ease their pain.
‘What I find is when people are truly suffering because they have a life-threatening illness, or because someone they love has died, sometimes swearing is the only thing that does the business,’ says Julia, 61, daughter of James Guinness, scion of the banking side of the family.
‘Acknowledging that it is s*** gets to the heart of the matter. So I swear a lot with clients. I shouldn’t and my mother would disapprove in heaven — although she did swear quite a bit, too.’
He should be so unlucky! That surely must be what pop pixie Kylie Minogue is singing. Not, of course, because of any rupture in her relationship with dashing Welshman Paul Solomons, but because Solomons has just learned that his role as creative director at GQ magazine is imperilled by profound restructuring at the glossy. ‘No one knows yet what the exact plan is, but the idea is to shed a lot of roles. That’s what’s unsettling,’ one of Solomons’ colleagues tells me. ‘Everyone is shocked and upset — stunned, actually.’ Solomons, 46, who has been happily dating Kylie for the past three years, has been at GQ for two decades, winning a clutch of awards in the process. Can Kylie trill a word or two on Paul’s behalf?
A richly rewarding Crown role for Corrin
Her first major leading role has paid handsome dividends for Emma Corrin.
The 25-year-old actress, who was almost entirely unknown until she portrayed Princess Diana in the Crown’s fourth season, has just signed off accounts for her company which shows it made £170,000 in its first year of trading.
After creditors were paid, Emma’s enterprise, the Bucklers Hard Productions Limited was still left with almost £105,000.
Emma Corrin, 25, portrayed Princess Diana in the Crown’s fourth season and has just signed off accounts for her company which shows it made £170,000 in its first year of trading
The Crown’s storyline provoked howls of protest with many including Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden demanding Netflix state clearly that the drama was fiction.
Particular concerns over invented scenes included the false suggestion that the affair between Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles continued throughout his marriage to Diana.
Olivia Colman, who played the Queen in The Crown, praised Emma (left): ‘She really became her, it was spooky to sit in front of her. It was like looking at the real thing. It was such a beautiful performance.’
Nigella Lawson is in that rare group of people who can be identified by just one name.
But the domestic goddess declares: ‘I’ve got a stupid name,’ explaining, ‘I mean, I didn’t even need a surname when I was at nursery school.’
The daughter of former Tory Chancellor Nigel Lawson adds: ‘I find [the fame] a sort of very frightening, weird compliment.’
Play like Bowie? I’m an absolute beginner, says Lewis Hamilton
Formula One champion Sir Lewis Hamilton paid tribute to his favourite musician, David Bowie, when he died in 2016, but their relationship was far from one-sided.
The racing driver, 36, reveals Bowie gave him a guitar before his death aged 69, and Hamilton has shared a video of himself playing it at his home in Monaco ahead of the Portuguese Grand Prix this weekend.
‘Excuse the mistakes, I’m far from good,’ Lewis says modestly. ‘But this is my first take playing this guitar that David Bowie sent me. I love this guitar and will cherish it forever. I never got to say thank you to him or to his family, so if they see this, thank you so much.’
Seven-time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton plays the guitar sent to him by the late Thin White Duke
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