A Star in the making.
Her provenance is excellent: her father Peter Hall has been the backbone of the British theatre for decades, her mother an exciting opera singer who eschewed a body stocking when playing Salome and threw herself at Herod’s feet naked (see below), and her five siblings are all prominent in the arts.
She is versatile and although she has a willowy beauty can also –if the part demands look like a toothy geek. Just now she is dazzling as the wayward wife in Parade’s End and gives real gravitas to the triangular love affair.
At Roedean she was a reluctant head girl, and thence to
before her final year more because she was doing so well rather than that she
was struggling. Not surprisingly her
parents were upset. Cambridge
I first saw her in 1992 when as a ten year old girl she played Sophy in her father’s TV adaptation of The Camomile Lawn’ Rebecca Hall is now thirty and at the top of her game. She won the Ian Charleson Award for Mrs Warren’s Profession and was nominated for a Golden Globe, appeared in for Vicky Cristina, Barcelona the Woody Allen film with Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz – now that I must see, and she was awarded a BAFTA for best supporting actress in Channel Four’s production of Red Riding.
We have just had the second episode of Parade’s End and it gets better and better. Interesting that both Rebecca and the director Susanna White studied English Literature at University but were not familiar with Ford Maddox Ford although he was an important member of the Stein, James, Conrad, Wells, Chesterton Galsworthy literary circle. I should think by the third episode his books will be flying off the shelves.
The cast glitters with some of our best actors attracted, no doubt by having the writer Tom Stoppard on board. I think he has softened with the years and though he claims it is a comedy it certainly is an intriguing love story a little reminiscent of Orczy’s tale of Sir Percy Blakeny and the beautiful Marguerite St Just.
The first episode was promising but a little confusing. In the second episode things are becoming clearer, (and Rebecca takes a leaf out of her mother’s book and appears naked) concentration pays off and it is a real treat but as someone said whilst you can go out and make a coffee during Downton Abbey and keep a grip on the plot, you certainly can’t with Parade’s End. However I find to sit entranced for an hour is no bad thing.
The director has said:
“If in Bleak house we went back to Dickens an episodic writer who wrote in instalments with cliff hangers; what we were trying to do with Parade’s End is to be true to what Ford was doing and really challenge people. To make demands of the viewer as Ford makes demands of the reader.”
Don’t miss it.