Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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( 'Nother Solent is this blog's good twin. Same words, searchable archives, RSS feed. Provided by a benefactor, to whom thanks.
I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005
History repeats itself, first time as tragedy, second as farce. So said Karl Marx. A fine saying - pity about the rest of his legacy. He would not have intended it to cover such a frivolous sort of history as the doings of playwrights and players, but it does, and the little bit of repeated history I would like to post about features some of his most loyal devotees.

The BBC has cast Corin Redgrave's Marxist wife as Margaret Thatcher according to the Telegraph.

In what could be seen as a perverse insult to Lady Thatcher, the BBC has cast Kika Markham, a member of the Left-wing Redgrave dynasty and supporter of the Workers Revolutionary Party, as Britain's first female prime minister.
I think we can dispense with the "could be seen"; of course it is an insult, although not a particularly peverse one. Who cares? Political insults are the stuff of life, and books and plays. For all I know the results will be splendid. Ms Markham is saying the right things:
Markham said: "I think portraying someone like this can be more difficult if you are a socialist because you have such strong preconceptions and views about her. As an actor, however, you have to wipe those away. You have got to be as truthful and objective as you possibly can."
Then again, if she's a supporter of the Workers' Revolutionary Party she may have an idiosyncratic view of the meaning of the words "truth" and "objectivity."

Perhaps Ms Markham could go for advice to her sister in law.

In 1980 I watched a TV movie called Playing for Time, written by Arthur Miller. The film told the story of Fania Fénelon, who played in the infamous camp orchestra at Auschwitz.

Vanessa Redgrave played Fénelon. (Vanessa's brother Corin is Kita Markham's husband.) Her performance was widely praised, and I remember it as being excellent.

Yet I also remember catching one of those short "personal view" programmes where someone talks direct to the camera about some issue dear to his or her heart. The speaker was an old woman, Fania Fénelon herself. She described how hurt she was that her life story, that of a Jew persecuted for being a Jew, had been depicted on film by a woman who said that the remaining Jews had no right to find refuge in Israel.