Legit forces behind the planned touring company of “Lettice And Lovage” are keeping mum about possible star Vanessa Redgrave’s recent comments on the Persian Gulf, but other industry insiders say the controversy could make nervous managers balk.
Redgrave, a vocal supporter of the Palestine Liberation Organization, placed a half-page ad in The New York Times Feb.8 in response to criticism over comments she made Jan. 13 at a peace rally in Barcelona, Spain. At the rally she said, in part, that “we must unconditionally defend Iraq against American, British or Israeli troops.”
Attempting to “clarify the misunderstanding” over her earlier statements, Redgrave’s ad stated, “I unconditionally oppose the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.” Out of context, per the ad, her earlier statements could be taken to support the Iraqi invasion. She said she supports a “peaceful, negotiated settlement of the crisis.”
The actress is in negotiations with the Shubert Organization, producers of the upcoming “Lettice And Lovage,” to play the lead in the touring company. What effect, if any, Redgrave’s comments might have on the talks is uncertain. Gerald Schoenfeld, Shubert chairman, isn’t commenting. Sam Cohn, Redgrave’s agent, did not return repeated phone calls.
During her stint in last season’s Broadway production of “Orpheus Descending,” Redgrave eschewed controversy, refusing to grant interviews unless reporters agreed not to discuss politics.