JANE WENHAM (1927-  2018)

Jane, who very sadly died in November, was an actress and singer of enormous talent whose performances will always be remembered by, among many other, Bristol audiences and members of the the Bristol Old Vic Theatre Company of the early  and mid 1950s. She was also a great friend of the Slades – my brother Julian particularly  when he and she coincided at the Bristol Old Vic: myself as a brotherly hanger-on and, in much later years, our first cousin, playwright Laurie Slade. Jane played principal parts in a number of Julian’s shows including the ‘Merry Gentleman’, a Christmas musical,and ‘The Comedy of Errors and ‘The Duenna’  for both of which he wrote a new score.’The Duenna’, came into London at the Westminster Theatre in 1954 opening just before ‘Salad Days’ first opened at the Vaudeville, and it ran for nearly six months. She was a bright, light-hearted and very engaging, singing star in all of them and, because i was doing my National Service in Germany at the time, I was lucky enough also  to see her playing Jane in a unique production of ‘Salad Days’ that  toured the  NAAFI theatres of the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) in 1956.                                                                                                                    Jane went on to play many parts in London and UK wide theatre, film and on television. She played her last prominent role in an episode of Downton Abbey in 2010.She is already sorely missed.   ADRIAN SLADE