Obituary: Bernard Braden

MAY I set straight for the theatrical record certain statements and omissions in your obituaries of Bernard Braden (by June Averill and Frank Gray, 6 February)? writes Peter Cotes.

Whereas it is true that Braden played the part of Harold Mitchell in Streetcar, it is inaccurate to assert that he 'starred opposite Vivien Leigh' in this 1949 production at the Aldwych. He had only a modest part: for his first decisive, dramatic chance to 'co-star' he had to wait another three years, until he appeared opposite Joan Miller in the West End production at Her Majesty's Theatre of the American thriller The Man. Its press headlines following the first night's phenomenal reception proclaimed Braden's success: 'Nightmare with Braden', 'Bad time with Braden', 'Chills with Braden', 'Shivers with Braden', 'Murder with Braden' - and many others in the same vein. The big theatre more used to staging musicals was not easy to create a tense atmosphere in, yet the acting of the two principal players, alone on the stage throughout the action, triumphed; and following a hit season in 1952 my production was successfully transferred to the smaller St Martin's Theatre the following year.

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