This blog is for English actress, cakemaker and writer Jane Asher, with many pictures and accurate information of one of the most beautiful rock muses from the 20th century.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Blithe Spirit, 1986

1986 - Jane Asher portrait as Ruth in Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” which opened January 30, 1986 at the Vaudeville Theatre, London. From the theatre programme. From Lady Jane group at yahoo. 

Blithe Spirit is a comic play by Noël Coward. The play concerns the socialite and novelist Charles Condomine, who invites the eccentric medium and clairvoyant, Madame Arcati, to his house to conduct a séance, hoping to gather material for his next book. The scheme backfires when he is haunted by the ghost of his annoying and temperamental first wife, Elvira, after the séance. Elvira makes continual attempts to disrupt Charles's marriage to his second wife, Ruth, who cannot see or hear the ghost.
The play was first seen in the West End in 1941, creating a new long-run record for non-musical British plays of 1,997 performances. It also did well on Broadway later that year, running for 657 performances. Coward adapted the play for film in 1945, starring Rex Harrison, and directed a musical adaptation, High Spirits, on Broadway in 1964. It was also adapted for television in the 1950s and 1960s and for radio. The play enjoyed several West End and Broadway revivals in the 1970s and 1980s and was revived again in London in 2004, 2011 and 2014. It returned to Broadway in February 2009.

The title of the play is taken from Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem "To a Skylark", ("Hail to thee, blithe Spirit! / Bird thou never wert"). For some time before 1941 Coward had been thinking of a comedy about ghosts. He knew that in wartime Britain, with death a constant presence, there would be some objection to a comedy about ghosts, but his firm view was that as the story would be thoroughly heartless, "you can't sympathise with any of them. If there was a heart it would be a sad story."

Charles Condomine, a successful novelist, wishes to learn about the occult for a novel he is writing, and he arranges for an eccentric medium, Madame Arcati, to hold a séance at his house. At the séance, she inadvertently summons Charles's first wife, Elvira, who has been dead for seven years. Madame Arcati leaves after the séance, unaware that she has summoned Elvira. Only Charles can see or hear Elvira, and his second wife, Ruth, does not believe that Elvira exists until a floating vase is handed to her out of thin air. Elvira is louche and moody, in contrast to the more strait-laced Ruth. The ghostly Elvira makes continued, and increasingly desperate, efforts to disrupt Charles's current marriage. She finally sabotages his car in the hope of killing him so that he will join her in the spirit world, but it is Ruth rather than Charles who drives off and is killed.
Ruth's ghost immediately comes back for revenge on Elvira, and though Charles cannot at first see Ruth, he can see that Elvira is being chased and tormented, and his house is in uproar. He calls Madame Arcati back to exorcise both of the spirits, but instead of banishing them she unintentionally materialises Ruth. With both his dead wives now fully visible, and neither of them in the best of tempers, Charles, together with Madame Arcati, goes through séance after séance and spell after spell to try to exorcise them. It is not until Madame Arcati works out that the housemaid, Edith, is psychic and had unwittingly been the conduit through which Elvira was summoned that she succeeds in dematerialising both ghosts. Charles is left seemingly in peace, but Madame Arcati, hinting that the ghosts may still be around unseen, warns him that he should go far away as soon as possible. Coward repeats one of his signature theatrical devices at the end of the play, where the central character tiptoes out as the curtain falls – a device that he also used in Present Laughter, Private Lives and Hay Fever. Charles leaves at once, and the unseen ghosts throw things and destroy the room as soon as he has gone.

Pic 2) with Joanna Lumley as Elvira.
Pics 3 & 5) with Simon Cadell as Charles
Pic 4) (L-R) with Rachel Herbert (as Mrs Bradman), Simon Cadell (Charles), Marcia Warren (as Madame Arcati) and Roger Hume (as Doctor Bradman).

Monday, 20 April 2015

Son of Oblomov, 1964

December 8, 1964 - Jane and Paul at the Comedy Theatre, in the West End of London, seeing Spike Milligan in the Frank Dunlop production of Son of Oblomov.

Pictures and information from the Lady Jane group at yahoo!. Many thanks to Lynn.

Friday, 17 April 2015

MEET THE BEATLES FOR REAL: Jane Asher 10 Years Later

 * Please, notice, this is a reblog from the Meet The Beatles For Real blog [but I've corrected the many typos there were!]*

Meet The Beatles for real: Jane Asher 10 Years Later

Beatle fans are a loyal group. By 1978, Paul had been broken up with Jane Asher for 10 years and he had married Linda and had children. Jane was in his past, but she was still someone near and dear to Beatle fans everywhere. Jane is so much more than just Paul's ex-girlfriend because they were together all during the Beatle years and she is the muse of several of his songs. She was always well-loved by the fans during the time and always remained part of the "Beatle circle" as far as fans were concerned, even if she was no longer in touch with them. In 1978, Jane was in a play that was in London called "Whose Life is it Anyway?" And fans, Mary Ann Hockman and Marie Lacey had the opportunity to meet with her on a few occasions during the run of the show. Marie wrote about her encounters with Jane for the Aug/Sept 1979 issue of "The Write Thing." While Mary Ann's photographs appeared in the Oct/Nov 1978 issue of the same fanzine.Our next visit with Jane was in August 1978. She was starring with Tom Conti in "Whose Life is it Anyway?"about a young man's right to die after being paralyzed from the neck down in an auto accident. Jane was one of his doctors.

Doylene, Susie, Ann and I went to see Jane at the stage door. Susie had brought over a beautiful doll from America for Katie (Jane daughter who was 4 years old) and gave it to Jane from all of us. Jane was thrilled. We explained that we had already seen the play and enjoyed it and we were stopped by to see her before the show and say hello. She told us we should have come after the play so we could have time to talk and have a drink together. Since we hadn't done that, she said, "You must come over ot the house for tea" So we made arrangements to visit at 10 o'clock the next day.

The next morning we arrived at Jane & Gerald's home in Chelsea just as Gerald was leaving. He greeted us and said Jane was waiting for us upstairs. Gerald is a cartoonist and can be remembered for his caricature of the Beatles that appeared on the cover of TIME magazine in 1967.

They own the whole house, but up until recently only dwelled on the second floor. A sectretary took us upstairs, asking if we were there to see Mr. Scarfe or Mrs. Scarfe, so I told her "Mrs. Scarfe," although in a recent interview Jane said she was not married and acting was still her first love. We were welcomed by 4 year old Katie, holding our doll which she had also named "Kate." Jane appeared from the kitchen and we all sat down and had tea. Jane told us she was leaving the play in September (she was tired of it), but that she hoped TomConti would be chosen for the lead in the NY production. I asked her if the lines came as second nature and she said yes, that she thinks about other things constantly and sometimes goes into shock when she suddenly realizes she's on stage, thinking "where the hell am ?!?" She asked about our travels and I told her we'd just been to Dorset and she told us that they had considered moving there because it was beautiful and so magical.

Jane's mother lives on Abbey Road in St. John's Wood, in fact she was going to have lunch with her that day, and she asked where we were staying and told us that she, too once had a flat in Maida Vale (in '68 right after she broke up with Paul).

She said her brother Peter, lives in California now and they had gone to visit him and took Katie to Disneyland. Katie picked up a pear form a bowl on the table and asked, "Mummy" to cut it and peel it for her. Afterward, she said, "Mummy, I wonder if one should ate the pits?" Jane told her she shouldn't but it wouldn't do her any harm if she did. "Nut you see, Mummy, the point is, I already have ate them!!" Cute!

It was getting time to leave so I asked if we could take a picture before we left, which Jane agreed to. Katie loves cameras and took a photo of Jane with Susie's camera. Katie wanted to get in the pictures so I asked Jane if that was alright and she replied, "Normally I don't allow it, but for you, yes."

She was telling us all about the renovations of the house and how we'd see a big change the next time we came. She kept saying, "really, you mustn't wait so long to come again." It was such a good feeling to be sincerely welcomed by such a warm and pleasant person as Jane.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Look Back in Anger, 1968

October 1968 - Jane Asher as Alison with Martin Shaw in John Osborne's play "Look Back In Anger" at the Royal Court Theatre in London.


In her Oct. 12, 1968 London E. S. interview with Ray Connolly, during rehearsals for Look Back In Anger, Jane commented on Paul McCartney. She was living in a little flat over a dry cleaners in Maida Vale just off Baker Street: "I know it sounds corny but we're still very close friends. We really are. We see each other and we love each other, but it hasn't worked out. That's all there is too it. Perhaps we'll be childhood sweethearts and meet and get married again when we're about seventy."


Look Back in Anger (1956) is a play by John Osborne. It concerns a love triangle involving an intelligent and educated but disaffected young man of working-class origin (Jimmy Porter), his upper-middle-class, impassive wife (Alison), and her haughty best friend (Helena Charles). Cliff, an amiable Welsh lodger, attempts to keep the peace. 
The action throughout takes place in the Porters' one-room flat in the Midlands.

 Jane recalled in 2010: "Look Back in Anger came along at a time in my career when I was at a potential crossroads between going into more television and film – I was 22 at the time but I had worked since the age of five so I’d already done a great deal of both – or more theatre. But as soon as I started working on Look Back I knew that theatre was what I enjoyed most.
When Look Back in Anger was first produced in 1956, it was ground-breaking. Written by John Osborne, it was one of the first of the kitchen sink dramas. The lead character, Jimmy Porter, was the original angry young man and spends most of the play railing against British society. I played Alison, his wife, a middle-class colonel’s daughter very much under Jimmy’s thumb. In the middle of the play Jimmy has an affair with Alison’s best friend, and Cliff [the lodger, played by Martin Shaw] is endlessly sympathetic.
The interesting thing about this revival in 1968 was that it was the first since the Lord Chamberlain’s office had been abolished. Before then, every play had to be sent to the Lord Chamberlain to be 'passed’, and often the office would insist on cuts and changes. Look Back in Anger had to be quite seriously censored in 1956, but when we did the show John Osborne was around putting back his original text, which was fascinating. He could be spiky – there was more than a touch of Jimmy Porter in him – and he was intolerant of stupidity; he wasn’t the easiest of people but I admired him.
The only problem with our production was Victor Henry, who played Jimmy. He was one of the most brilliant actors I’ve ever worked with, but also an alcoholic. The play famously starts with Jimmy reading the newspaper and Alison ironing. As Victor lowered the newspaper some nights, his eyes would be small and bloodshot and I would know he’d been drinking and that it would be a terrible night. Some actors can get away with a drink but Victor couldn’t. He thought he was being wonderful, but he was mumbling and incoherent and it was disastrous. He always thought he would die a dramatic, wild, drink-fuelled death but he was walking down the street many years later, completely sober, when a car knocked into a lamp post which fell on his head. He was in a coma for over a year and died without regaining consciousness.
Since Look Back in Anger I’ve often dipped into the deeply commercial, but I’ve always come back to good theatre. But panto [Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs], which is what I’m doing now, is terrific fun: I haven’t done traditional panto since I was 17 when I played Cinderella at the Palace Theatre in Bromley. For me now, it’s lovely doing it for the children in the audience. I’ve got four step-grandchildren and I’m particularly doing it for them – they’re thrilled to have their step-granny as the wicked queen".
Photo 1) Jane Asher ca. 1968. Lady Jane group at yahoo!.
Photo 2) Close-up of Jane in wind and sun from Australian Women's Weekly, April 23, 1969. 
Photo 3) Same as previous ones, found on the net. If it's yours, drop me a line and I'll give you full credit!
Photo 4) Polfoto.
Photo 5) Lady Jane group at yahoo!
Photos 6 & 7) Jane Asher photoblog.
Photo 8) telegraph.co.uk
Photos 9 to 13) Found on the net. Ifany of them it's yours, drop me a line and I'll give you full credit. I saved them long ago. Thanks.
Photos 14 & 15) Jim Gray/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.
Photo 16) Ebay auction listing, found via Beatle Girls blogspot.
Photo 17) Topfoto.co.uk.
Photo 18) Ebay auction listing.
Photo 19) Associated Newspapers/REX/Shutterstock
Photo 20) King Collection / Retna/Photoshot 

Friday, 10 April 2015

Fashion Show at the Savoy Hotel, 1986

1986 - Ringo Starr posing with wife Barbara Bach, Pattie Boyd and Jane Asher during a Fashion Show at the Savoy Hotel in London.

Photo by Alan Davidson/Alpha,Globe Photos Inc. From the Image Collect website.

*Edited by me. Give credit if/when reposting*

Sunday, 5 April 2015


From the Jane Asher (re)Source, we are wishing you a very happy birthday! A very great and special day filled with LOVE, HAPPINESS, HEALTH, MAGIC, HOPE and many many GREAT WISHES for you and all your beloved ones. You are a STAR! 

Keep on shining, keep on smiling, keep on with your acting career and your charity works.



For anyone interested, you can visit all the other sites that we manage (links open in a new window). Thanks.