Oxford Playhouse 70Th Anniversary

Jan Leeming

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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

OXFORD PLAYHOUSE - 70th ANNIVERSARY

Date: 19th October 2008

OXFORD PLAYHOUSE

Life is a trifle quiet at the moment but I've just received a lovely invitation to the 70th Anniversary Celebrations of the Oxford Playhouse at which there will be many well known faces.

If you've been reading this website and looked at my CV, you will notice that I earned a living in professional theatre whilst living in Sydney, Australia.  On the death of my fiancée I made a rather rash and emotional decision to return to the UK.  Theatre work was very hard to come by, and not having wealthy parents who could support me, I had to earn a living and that's how I landed up in Television which has been my life and career for more decades than I care to remember.

However, apart from appearing in 5 Pantomimes, I did have one season in Real Theatre - and that was with the Oxford Playhouse in 1968.  If I remember correctly, a member of the repertory company was taken ill and they needed a replacement in a hurry.  One of the cast members, Lewis Fiander, had seen me in theatre in Sydney and recommended me to the legendary Frank Hauser.  I auditioned and got a season at the Playhouse.  I must say the two plays were not exactly going to set the world on fire.  One was, I think the first, and probably the last performance of Robert Browning's 'Pippa Passes' and the other was Ben Jonson's Epicoene (The Silent Woman).  In my humble opinion, neither play was going to be a great crowd puller but I was thrilled to be part of this illustrious Rep. Company.  Another member of the cast was a young (weren't we all) Stephanie Beecham long before she rose to World Fame.  She was stunningly attractive and still is - 40 years later.  I don't suppose she will be at the reunion as I think she spends a lot of her life in America.  But Giles Brandreth and Graeme Garden are attending on the Sunday - our paths have crossed several times when I've interviewed them.

It's a pity I can't attend on both the Saturday and Sunday nights as there are a few people performing on Saturday with whom I'd like to re-acquaint.

Anyway, that's something to which to look forward.

                                                                                      ************************************************************** 

I understand that the number of women joining Kindred Spirits (Internet Dating Website) has increased dramatically - apparently after I said on GMTV that  it was a 'safe' way of meeting members of the opposite sex.  So, I may have had a couple of weeks of hassle but at least some people have benefited.  My site is still closed and I am undecided as to whether I'd open it again. 

 Take care.  Jan

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