Making An Entrance by Margaret Martin

This is a remarkable book about a most remarkable man. Gerard Gould is known to many as a teacher and director of amateur drama with a uniquely charismatic personality, and those gifts are rare enough to merit attention; but the life of the man behind the work is truly fascinating. Only the 20th century could have produced such a life.

He was born Günter Goldstein in Germany in 1922, the youngest child of a prosperous Jewish family. He was a witness (and a perceptive, profoundly intelligent witness) to the gathering horror that was Nazi Germany.

The events of Kristallnacht, the night in 1938 when a campaign of brutality against the Jews and their property erupted into what had been a civilised society, have never been clearer or more frightening to me than in this account.

The young Günter was luckier than his parents, who died in the Holocaust. Thanks to the Kindertransport and the hospitality of an elderly English couple, he escaped to this country, whose language he already knew and loved.

The story of how he found a career in teaching, a passion for the theatre, a beloved wife and a new identity as the English Gerard Gould is fascinating, and cleverly told by Margaret Martin.

Gould was clearly a great teacher, at a time when new experiments in education — secondary modern schools, middle schools — enabled teachers to find new ways of teaching. But drama was his greatest love, and his influence on many young actors was profound and lasting. Here is an account of a valuable life which will interest anyone who is curious about the way human goodness can grow in the crevices of the worst century human beings have ever known.

Making An Entrance: The Biography of Gerard Gould is available at Blackwell’s in Oxford or by emailing