Performance of Tynan, with Corin Redgrave, to Benefit BC/EFA

News   Performance of Tynan, with Corin Redgrave, to Benefit BC/EFA A performance of Tynan, which is based on the diaries of the often controversial English theatre critic Kenneth Tynan, will be presented Oct. 22 at the Public Theater.
Corin Redgrave in Tynan.
Corin Redgrave in Tynan.

Corin Redgrave will star in the one-man show, which begins at 8 PM. The evening will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Actors Fund of America.

The biographical play, which was culled from Tynan's diaries, "spans the last ten years of Tynan's life. These painfully honest and revealing diaries create a portrait of one of the most interesting and complex men of our time," according to press notes. The play was edited by theatre critic John Lahr and adapted by Richard Nelson and Colin Chambers.

Tynan premiered in 2004 as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company's New Work Festival at the Swan Theatre, Strat-upon-Avon.

A post-performance reception will be hosted by Corin Redgrave's sisters, Lynn Redgrave and Vanessa Redgrave.

Corin Redgrave has appeared on Broadway in Chips with Everything and Not About Nightingales; for his work in the latter, the actor was nominated for Tony and Drama Desk Awards. Redgrave's numerous other stage credits include Song at Twilight, De Profundis, Gross Indecency, Julius Caesar, The Right Honourable Gentleman, Lady Windermere's Fan, Abelard and Heloise, The Norman Conquests, The Case of David Anderson, The Crucible, Measure for Measure, Coriolanus, Rosmersholm, The Country Girl, The Romans, General From America and Marat/Sade. Tickets, priced $60-$150, are available by calling (212) 840-0770, ext. 268. For more information visit www.broadwaycares.org.

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Kenneth Tynan was born in 1927. He had a pronounced stutter from an early age, but it did not hinder his sense of self-worth. He cut a colorful swath through Oxford, editing the school newspaper, directing imaginative productions in which he also starred, dressing in purple velvet suits and living far beyond his meager means. He published his first book of drama criticism before he graduated, managing to wrest an introduction from none other than Orson Welles. After a brief career as an actor and director, he began writing for the Evening Standard and later the Observer while still in his '20s.

Tynan's greatest achievement as a critic was his advocacy of the Angry Young Man school of playwriting, which in the late '50s rocked the staid English theatre traditions. Without his help, John Osborne's Look Back in Anger, the landmark work of that movement, would not have become a success. He was also a champion of Brecht and Beckett, while criticizing the talents of Pinter and his followers.

After years of bemoaning the fact that England has no national theatre, he joined the finally formed National in 1963 as literary manager to Laurence Olivier's artistic director. He was forced out in 1973 when Peter Hall took over the institution. A longtime opponent of censorship in the theatre, he helped create the long-running erotic revue Oh, Calcutta! He also became notorious as the first man in British television history to say a certain four-letter word on the air. In the '70s, Tynan was famous for his lengthy New Yorker profiles on the likes of Louise Brooks, Tom Stoppard and Ralph Richardson.

His other books include "Curtains," "Tynan Left and Right" and "Show People."

He died in 1980 of lung cancer. His wife later published "The Autobiography of Kenneth Tynan." Since his death, his letters, profiles and diaries have been collected in book form.

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