Clayton Littlewood talks over the phone to painter Don Barchardy in California about the recent publication of ‘The Animals’. The book is a collection of love letters between Don Bachardy and Christopher Isherwood, author of ‘Goodbye to Berlin’ and ‘A Single Man’. Clayton has long been an ardent fan of Christopher Isherwood and speaks to Don about the secret of his remarkable relationship to Christopher, which lasted over 30 years until Christopher’s death in 1986 and overcame an age gap of 30 years between the couple.
He tells us about gay life in Hollywood in the 1950s and remembers the excitement of painting Marlene Dietrich in the early 1960s. He also reveals what it was like visiting Berlin for the first time last October and seeing the apartment, in which Christopher’s acclaimed novel ‘Goodbye to Berlin’ is set, which provided the basis for the musical ‘Cabaret’.
The title of ‘The Animals’ refers to the pet names Don and Christopher used for each other. The letters are published by Chatto and Windus and trace Don and Christopher’s weeks apart from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s. An extract of these letters can be heard in our Christmas Special until 28th January 2014.