Michael Winner passed away today, and social media has been awash with lots of good interviews with the man, who was never short of a good showbiz tale. Turns out his best friend was Burt Lancaster, even though the actor tried to kill him not once, but three times. But it was this recollection of Oliver Reed that stood out for me today:
“Oliver Reed was the most wonderful man I ever met. The most sensitive, shy person; he needed drink because he was so terrified of life and people. We’d be on location in Germany and he’d get drunk and piss on the German flag and ‘Heil Hitler!’ up the hotel corridor, and then he’d come in the morning very quiet and gentlemanly, not remembering any of it. He was adorable.”
Quite! The legendary hellraiser happens to be the subject of a new one man play coming to the Epstein in a few weeks, set in the final year of his life.
It is Malta, 1999, and time is running out for the definitive ‘Wild Thing’. Actor Rob Crouch will channel the spirit of Ollie to share his incredible life story – from the boyhood excitement of learning he was a direct descendent of Peter the Great, the success of Oliver!, boozy adventures with Keith Moon and car crash chat show appearances – all while knocking back a few drinks, in a show that promises to reveal the very real Oliver Reed.
Best known for his work in films including Women in Love, Oliver!, The Three Musketeers and Gladiator, Reed was an undeniable force of nature and one of the iconic British Hollywood stars. For ticket and more information on the show, visit www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk.