Life & Culture

This year in Radlett, next year the West End?

Why did one Jewish mother decide to turn her hand to acting? Jane Myers explains why she needed to perform


What was it that inspired a small group of Jewish people to join others in a scout hut in Radlett one cold January evening to audition for an amateur dramatic production of The Ladykillers? Jane Myers, 52, explains:

For many years, in fact since leaving school I have had a desire to perform. On that cold January evening in leafy Radlett, this desire was about to be fulfilled! 

I was auditioning following a play reading the previous year for a part in the amateur dramatic production of The Ladykillers put on by The Radlett Players. Joining me was Elliot Cohen, a father of four.

I admit this has been something I have been meaning to do since leaving school but working life, three children and all the usual distractions got in the way. Life can be quite mundane at times and I craved something new. I joined the Rock Choir and performed in a few concerts including at Sainsburys in Stanmore for Red Nose Day. But this was something more exciting.

A week after the audition both Elliot and I got the good news that we had secured parts in the nine-strong cast. I was allocated the part of General Gordon - the lead character's pet parrot. I had to learn to squawk, something my family admits I am quite good at! Elliot secured one of the main parts, One Round, but then again, he was the obvious choice to play a big clumsy lunk with a tendency to put his foot in it.

The commitment was huge, with rehearsals taking place twice a week including Bank Holidays. Lines had to be learnt, costumes and props had to be found and characters became quirkier and quirkier. We really enjoyed the cameraderie and fun that developed between the cast, director and other key members of the production team.

To get involved in all aspects of the production was a bonus and included promotion and selling of tickets and even helping with the creation and painting of the elaborate set. The director, Dave, surprised us all at one rehearsal when we received an email of encouragement from Peter Capaldi aka Dr Who - himself cast in a previous production of the play!

So, over four nights, we performed what I would describe as a hilarious, quirky interpretation of the play in front of audiences of more than 400. The run sadly ended last weekend but we both thoroughly enjoyed the luvvie yet exhausting experience which included dismantling the set after the last night. 

The next Radlett Players production is November and we would like to get involved again although Elliot admits he needs a good long rest first! My family would like to see a little more of me so I will wait and see what the chosen play is... and who knows - this year the Radlett year maybe the West End?


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