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Memories of Jane Walters

Within the short span of less than a month, we are again greatly saddened to report the sudden death of another former member of Ottershaw Players, Jane Walters. As many were aware, Jane had been under treatment for a cancerous condition, but had been responding satisfactorily to previous medication and was maintaining good spirits up to the very abrupt, and unexpected end. The Players extend their sincere condolences and sympathies to husband Wally (another OP’s “alumnus”), to his and Jane’s extended families, and especially to Lynne, another of our OP “family”.

From a personal point of view, I first became aware of the dramatically talented Jane Lightfoot (as  she was then) in early 1970’s, when she won Best Actress at the 1974 Woking Drama Festival in the runner-up production of “The Collector”, directed for Byfleet Players by Wally Walters. ( My production of “Transcending” by David Cregan had taken the Winners award by just one mark over “The Collector”, which had been penalised for a time overrun!)  Jane went on to enjoy many successes over the years in  Drama festivals around the country, both in acting and directing roles, as well as being a regular , much admired and praised, actor in major productions with Byfleet Players, Ottershaw Players , and latterly, Runnymede Drama Group.

Among a number of OP productions at Rhoda McGaw, Jane’s direction of “ Tom Jones”  in 1988, and her performance in  our production of Peter Nichols’ “Passion Play” in 1987, stand out in my mind.  And Jane was a stalwart performer in some of the earlier Players’ “Farragos” –  ship’s cook on the Thames cruiser in “Maidenhead Revisited” was a classic!

As a professional drama teacher, Jane was always willing to share her knowledge and skills training with us “amateurs”, and helped us improve our own performances, as she has helped countless hundreds (thousands?) of  youngsters to enjoy creating , performing and learning about drama and theatre. These skills, and the lady herself, will be greatly missed by many.

There will a service on Friday May 13th, 12:15 at St Mary Magdalen Parish Church, Ripley High Street

Alan Wakefield

Hon . President Ops.

May 2011

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Gareth Corke | May 23, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    I have just read your comments about the wonderful Jane Walters. I was one of her many yvonne Arnaud youth group ‘Act One’rs’ in the mid to late 80’s and it was through her incredible warmth and passion that I went on to make a proffession out of acting. I was to gutted to hear of her death, the last time I saw Jane was when I was starring in Telstar which came to the Yvonne Arnaud and we met after the show. It was maybe the proudest moment of my career to see her and the years that had passed fell away- I was so happy to be with the woman who saved me so many years ago. She will remain in my heart the strongest of inspirations and a lesson in letting those so fundamental in ones character to slip through your fingers. Gareth Corke

  2. Chris Carr | November 13, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Jane was my tutor and mentor whilst I studied A-Level Drama at Godalming College 1998-2000. I am deeply saddened to hear about Jane’s passing away. I was just thinking of her this evening as I was reminiscing about my time at Godalming College.
    I really enjoyed studying under Jane, she was incredibly supportive and she kept our class in line. I will never forget her.
    I have just started studying directing at City Lit in London, I hope I can go on to make Jane proud.

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