Oscar winner Vanessa Redgrave visits her old stage school in Swiss Cottage

Actress Vanessa Redgrave returned to tread the boards at her old stage school in Swiss Cottage for the first time in more than 50 years, to talk to students about the rollercoaster life of an actor.

The actress, who was in the class of 1957 at Central School of Speech & Drama in Eton Avenue, was interviewed by head of acting Geoffrey Colman about how best to prepare for a role.

The Oscar-winning star told students: “You have to know the circumstances in which your character lived.

‘‘What your character wants to do, her objective is more important than who she is. Preparation and detail are critical.”

Her sister Lynn also attended Central School and daughter Natasha Richardson followed in 1983.