Obituary: Gottfried Reinhardt

MAY I record how accessible and generous Gottfried Reinhardt was to those interested in discussing and researching the career of his father? writes Professor Richard Beacham (further to the obituary by David Shipman, 22 July).

Gottfried was extremely knowledgeable on many of the otherwise obscure but intriguing aspects and details of his father's work, and had himself recorded many of these in The Genius, his biography of his father.

Last March I gave a public lecture on Max Reinhardt at the Getty Museum in California. Several days before it, I was told that Gottfried planned to attend, and would be pleased to meet me. A dinner party was arranged, and Gottfried kept me enthralled with anecdotes both about his father's career, and his own. He described, for example, the bizarre conditions under which the Hollywood Bowl Midsummer Night's Dream was conceived and executed, and how to the last minute everything threatened to collapse into chaotic farce.

At a party following the production's memorably successful premiere, Harry Cohn, head of Columbia Pictures, who had been highly sceptical about the prospects of presenting Shakespeare to a huge popular audience, embraced Max Reinhardt, exclaiming, 'Gee, Max, next time we'll do it in Latin]'

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