London’s West End to dim its lights for Natasha

Theatres in London’s West End will dim their lights for two minutes in tribute to actress Natasha Richardson.

The dimming of the lights on Friday night will mirror Broadway’s tribute to the actress, who died following a skiing accident. Lights at 52 major venues in the capital will go down just before curtain-up, the Society of London Theatre said.

Society president Nica Burns said: “This is a gesture of condolence at this sad time, and a mark of respect for both Natasha Richardson and her immediate family, and for the Redgrave family as a whole, who have made such a unique contribution to British theatre.”

On Thursday night 45-year-old Natasha’s grieving husband Liam Neeson watched as New York’s theatre district turned down its illuminations in a mark of respect for the actress. Her mother, the Oscar-winner Vanessa Redgrave, and her actress sister Joely Richardson are also believed to have attended, along with well-known members of the acting fraternity including Sex And The City star Sarah Jessica Parker and her husband Matthew Broderick.

Natasha came from one of Britain’s most respected theatre families. She was the granddaughter of Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson, the niece of Lynn and Corin Redgrave and her late father was the director Tony Richardson.

Her extensive stage experience included Ophelia in Hamlet and Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and she won a Tony in 1998 for her Broadway performance as Sally Bowles in Cabaret.

Her death was announced on Wednesday, two days after she fell while learning to ski in the Canadian resort of Mont Tremblant. On Thursday a medical examiner in New York confirmed an accidental blunt impact to the head had caused the actress’s death.

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