Actor Corin Redgrave is devoting the next five years of his life to save one of Britain's most historic theatres.

The Redgrave Theatre in Farnham, Surrey - which was closed in 1998 after failing audience figures - is due to be demolished to become part of a planned redevelopment area.

But the A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS actor is campaigning to re-open the venue - which is named after his late father, THE LADY VANISHES actor SIR MICHAEL REDGRAVE.

The 65-year-old says, "I am prepared to be contracted as the theatre's artistic director for the first five years. I hope this will encourage funding bodies or sponsors.

"If asked, I would set about raising the finances myself to see the theatre re-opened. I don't know yet how much is needed. Since the theatre bears a distinguished name in the history of acting, I would seek to make the new theatre a show place for the finest acting.

"To let it become more derelict or to demolish it without replacing it would be an act of short-sightedness with a damaging significance."

Redgrave believes re-opening the theatre could easily be achieved by a season of big-name stars - and hopes to have performances started again by next autumn (06).

04/02/2005 17:37