Oxford Playhouse 70Th Anniversary

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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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.


Date: 1st November 2008


Great fun.  I simply couldn't believe it was 40 years since I'd trod the boards at the Oxford Playhouse.

The evening was very enjoyable - some acts far better than others -  but the star of the show was Giles Brandreth.  I met him years ago and interviewed him a few times, usually over his knowledge of Pantomime and his wife used to be a researcher on a Children's programme called 'Tom Tom' on which I worked until a car accident put me out of the frame and Michelle took over as the Presenter.  All a long time ago.

Giles is a very talented performer - his sense of timing is superb.  No wonder he did a spell as a Politician.  I really do think many Clergymen and Politicians are Actors Manque. 

Monday saw me at the Hall for Cornwall watching 'And Then There Were None' by Agatha Christie.  The performances and staging were extremely good but I found the play very dated (having been fortunate enough to compare it with the evergreen writing of Oscar Wilde only the week before).  I did find it amusing that in place of the rhyme with which we grew up (and as children saw no offence) Ten Little Nigger Boys had become Ten Little Soldier Boys - until the  politically correct bridgade decide to hit that one too.  

It was lovely to see Ray Lonnen - whom Doreen and I met on our cruise back from Capetown to Southampton - and have a drink after the show  with him and other members of the cast. 

I wonder if the people of Cornwall realise how fortunate they are to have The Hall.  Down here in Kent we just don't get 'out of town' productions.  It really is almost a cultural desert and I simply don't know why.  The only element in our favour is our proximity to France!!!!!

I should by now be in Sunny Capetown but I have a Television Commitment - about which I cannot talk - so am here in the most Foul Weather.  It's been grey all day with heavy rain and wind and was dark at 4.00pm - sort of fits the financial mood doesn't it?

There's not much on the horizon for a while - and I can't talk about the TV - so I think I might continue my 'letters' by telling you more about my beloved Cheetahs.

Incidentally there was a story in the papers this week about a Cheetah which had escaped from a Zoo and the papers played it up to the hilt - the terrified child in fear for his life.  Cheetahs have never been know to attack a human being.  They are the 'scaredy cats' of the Cat family - timid in fact.  Yes, a swipe from a paw could inflict a nasty wound but they'd not  kill. 

On the cruise back from Capetown to Southampton earlier this year, I learned a little know fact that the Cheetah is descended from the Wolf.  Think that one through - Wolf - Dog - Tameable - Very different from the members of the Cat family - Leopard, Lion etc.  And Cheetahs were kept as pets - think of the friezes in Egyptian tombs and, coming more to the present, the pet cheetahs owned by Juanita Carberry of The White Mischief - Happy Valley set.

My computer totally froze last weekend and whilst it was being re-booted, my friendly Computer man suggested we took a look at the expensive piece of kit I purchased a year ago which was to transfer Video Tapes onto Disc (space saving and saving in the deterioration which occurs with Tapes).  I hadn't used it because I didn't understand the instructions which were totally, completely and unnecessarily complex.  I really do think Instructions should be written by amateurs and not by the cognoscenti.

It was such fun - I looked at Tapes of my Jonathan when he was about six weeks old and at Tapes of interviews which I conducted on that excellent programme 'Pebble Mill' - way back in the 70's.  There's the lovely Robert Morley being totally adorable (and took me to lunch) - David Shepherd, Andy Williams and my much treasured interview with Omar Sharif to mention but a few.

Wherever you are - and I'm amazed at the people who are kind enough to 'Hit' my site because they are all over the world - I send you affectionate greetings.


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