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Jan Williams

Why I Enjoy Drama

The ecstasy, the agony, the sheer fun – whether being drawn into characters’ dilemmas as part of an audience or being up there myself.  Three childhood highlights: a production of The Importance of Being Ernest at the psychiatric hospital where my dad worked, daring to speak to ‘Miss Prism’ while they prepared the stage; my mother taking me with her to see a young Francesca Annis as Jo in the ground breaking new drama A Taste of Honey at Nottingham Playhouse; finally the annual school house-play competition – four compressed Shakespeares in a day with adjudicator from said playhouse – wow!

My Drama Experience

As a comprehensive school teacher for some years, I found reading aloud a good short story, with accents fully-honed, useful for class control!  A big believer in social cohesion (and isn’t drama great for this?) I directed the occasional mega-production. David Wood’s Hijack over Hygenia involved all sections of the school from 13 year-olds to A level students with some cameo roles for staff – unforgettable!

But apart from one schoolgirl role as a (literally) speechless lady-in-waiting, I only took to the stage myself on retirement. First as Steel Magnolias‘ Ouisa with the Knaresborough Players. Then, with Woodlands, Alan Bennett’s Lady Rumpers and Ibsen’s Mrs Borkman – all formidable types. Latterly I was proud to be in the first Woodlands Fringe production at St Robert’s Club – Jim Cartwright’s Two, as the hapless girlfriend of a psychopathic bully. I am also proud to be a first-time member of the committee and look forward to making my contribution to Woodlands’ further success.

Away From Drama

Walking, most kinds of music, current affairs, Oxfam – and being a new grandma