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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.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Ophelia, 1977

Jane Asher as Ophelia in Oxford Playhouse's C. P. Taylor 'Ophelia' stage production, directed by Nicholas Kent. The play is about the events in Hamlet as seen through the eyes of Ophelia.


















Ophelia is a fictional character in the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. She is a young noblewoman of Denmark, the daughter of Polonius, sister of Laertes, and potential wife of Prince Hamlet. She is one of the few female characters in the play.
In Ophelia's first speaking appearance in the play, she is seen with her brother, Laertes, who is leaving for France. Laertes warns her that Hamlet, the heir to the throne of Denmark, does not have the freedom to marry whomever he wants. Ophelia's father, Polonius, enters while Laertes is leaving, and also forbids Ophelia to pursue Hamlet, whom he fears is not earnest about her.
In Ophelia's next appearance, she tells Polonius that Hamlet rushed into her room with his clothing askew, and with a "hellish" expression on his face, and only stared at her and nodded three times, without speaking to her. Based on what Ophelia told him, Polonius concludes that he was wrong to forbid Ophelia to see Hamlet, and that Hamlet must be mad because of lovesickness for her. Polonius immediately decides to go to Claudius (the new King of Denmark, and also Hamlet's uncle and stepfather) about the situation. Polonius later suggests to Claudius that they hide behind an arras (a hanging tapestry) to overhear Hamlet speaking to Ophelia when Hamlet thinks the conversation is private. Since Polonius is now sure that Hamlet is lovesick for Ophelia, he thinks Hamlet will express love for her. Claudius agrees to try the eavesdropping plan later.
The plan leads to what is commonly called the "Nunnery Scene". Polonius instructs Ophelia to stand in the lobby of the castle while he and Claudius hide. Hamlet enters the room, in a different world from the others, and recites his "To be, or not to be" soliloquy. Hamlet approaches Ophelia and talks to her. He tells her "Get thee to a nunnery". Hamlet becomes angry, realizes he has gone too far and says "I say we will have no more marriages", and exits. Ophelia is left bewildered and heartbroken, sure that Hamlet is insane. After Hamlet storms out, Ophelia makes her "O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown" soliloquy.
The next time Ophelia appears is at the "Mousetrap Play", which Hamlet has arranged in order to try to prove that Claudius killed King Hamlet. Hamlet sits with Ophelia and makes sexually suggestive remarks, also saying that woman's love is brief.
Later that night, after the play, Hamlet kills Polonius during a private meeting between Hamlet and his mother, Queen Gertrude. At Ophelia's next appearance, after her father's death, she has gone mad, due to what the other characters interpret as grief for her father. She talks in riddles and rhymes, sings some "mad" and bawdy songs about death and a maiden losing her virginity. After bidding everyone a "good night", she exits.
The last time Ophelia appears in the play is after Laertes comes to the castle to challenge Claudius over the death of his father, Polonius. Ophelia sings more songs and hands out flowers, citing their symbolic meanings, although interpretations of the meanings differ. The only herb that Shakespeare gives Ophelia herself is rue. Rue is well known for its symbolic meaning of regret, but the herb is also highly poisonous and has powerful abortive properties.
In Act 4 Scene 7, Queen Gertrude, in her monologue, reports that Ophelia had climbed into a willow tree, and then a branch broke and dropped Ophelia into the brook, where she drowned. Gertrude says that Ophelia appeared "incapable of her own distress". Gertrude's announcement of Ophelia's death has been praised as one of the most poetic death announcements in literature.
Later, a sexton at the graveyard insists Ophelia must have killed herself. Laertes is outraged by what the cleric says, and replies that Ophelia will be an angel in heaven when the cleric "lie[s] howling" in hell.
At Ophelia's funeral, Queen Gertrude sprinkles flowers on Ophelia's grave ("Sweets to the sweet"), and says she wished Ophelia could have been Hamlet's wife (contradicting Laertes' warnings to Ophelia in the first act). Laertes then jumps into Ophelia's grave excavation, asking for the burial to wait until he has held her in his arms one last time and proclaims how much he loved her. Hamlet, nearby, then challenges Laertes and claims that he loved Ophelia more than "forty thousand" brothers could. After her funeral scene, Ophelia is no longer mentioned.

 Photos 1 to 15) A Sunday Times picture of actress Jane Asher and an unamed co-star in the play 'Ophelia' at the Oxford Playhouse. Date: 15.10.1977. newscom.com

Monday, 23 February 2015

'Alfie' publicity shots, 1966





 






 









 

 
 

Photos 1 & 2, 6, 16) From the internet. If they are yours, drop me a line and I'll give you full credit.
Photos 3 & 4, 18, 20) Ebay auction listings.
Photos 5, 11 & 17) Stephan C. Archetti/Keystone Features/Getty Images.
Photo 7) Bride Lane Library/Popperfoto/Getty Images.
Photos 8 & 9) My scans from the December 4th 1965 issue of '¡Hola!' magazine. Do not delete the tags.
Photo 10) Allposters.com
Photo 12) Good Time Music tumblr blog.
Photos 13 & 19) Sentimentalist's 'It's Only Love - Beatle Girls' website.
Photo 14) Lady Jane group at yahoo!
Photo 15) Bethephant tumblr blog.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Pickwick Club, 1964

April 8th, 1964 - Jane and Paul at the Pickwick Club at a party given by Joan Collins.




Photo 1) From the net. If it's yours, drop me a line and I'll give you full credit.
Photo 2) From the Jane Asher photoblog.
Photo 3) From the Lady Jane group at yahoo! 

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Portrait Gala to raise funds for its Education programme, 2009

Jane Asher and Gerald Scarfe, Joanna Trollope and Simon Jenkins attend the Portrait Gala to raise funds for its Education programme, at the National Portrait Gallery on March 3, 2009 in London, England.



 

 


(Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Valentine's


1956 - Young Jane Asher as Benesta and her handsome co-star Max Bygraves as Charley Moon in a scene from the film "Charley Moon" a story of life in a travelling circus. In a 1973 interview Jane recalled her crush on Max Bygraves: "I did fall in love with him. I was about eight or nine, and he was terribly sweet and kind with me, and I used to cry at night because I knew I could never have him all to myself." Fom Lady Jane group at yahoo.







I met Jane Asher when she was sent by the Radio Times to cover a concert we were in at the Royal Albert Hall [in April 1963] - we had a photo taken with her for the magazine and we all fancied her. We’d thought she was blonde, because we had only ever seen her on black-and-white telly doing Juke Box Jury, but she turned out to be a redhead. So it was: ‘Wow, you’re a redhead!’ I tried pulling her, succeeded, and we were boyfriend and girlfriend for quite a long time." Paul McCartney
"I realised this was the girl for me. I hadn’t tried to grab her or make her. I told her, “It appears you’re a nice girl." Paul McCartney on when he met Jane Asher.

"They couldn’t believe I was a virgin." — Jane Asher on The Beatles when they met


  Paul fell like a ton of bricks for Jane. The first time I was introduced to her was at her home and she was sitting on Paul’s knee. My first impression of Jane was how beautiful and finely featured she was. Her mass of Titian-coloured hair cascaded around her face and shoulders, her pale complexion contrasting strongly with her dark clothes and shining hair. Paul was obviously as proud as a peacock with his new lady. For Paul, Jane Asher was a great prize." Cynthia Lennon

I eventually got a piano of my own up in the top garret. Very artistic. That was the piano that I fell out of bed and got the chords to Yesterday on. I dreamed it when I was staying there. I wrote quite a lot of stuff up in that room actually. I’m Looking Through You I seem to remember after an argument with Jane. There were a few of those moments." - Paul about the period he lived with Jane’s family

"As is one’s wont in relationships, you will from time to time argue or not see eye to eye on things, and a couple of the songs around this period were that kind of thing. This one I remember particularly as me being disillusioned over her commitment.” Paul assumed that Jane’s real intent was to be away from him, saying: “She went down to the Bristol Old Vic quite a lot around this time. Suffice it to say that this (song) was probably related to that romantic episode and I was seeing through her façade. And realizing that it wasn’t quite all that it seemed. I would write it out in a song and then I’ve got rid of the emotion. I don’t hold grudges so that gets rid of that little bit of emotional baggage. I remember specifically this one being about that, getting rid of some emotional baggage." —
 Paul McCartney, on how Jane Asher inspired the song I’m Looking Through You (recorded on November 11th 1965)

 "I am not Paul's wife-but yes, we are going to get married. We won't be married for a while yet, but when it happens we've got a family planned. First we want a boy and then-come what may. There's no particular reason why we are not getting married right away, except that we're both pretty line young...I shan't give up my career unless it interferes with our being together...I love Paul. I love him deeply,and he feels the same. I don't think either of us has looked at anyone else since we first met...I want to get married probably this year and have lots and lots of babies. I certainly would be surprised indeed if I married anyone but Paul." - Jane Asher, 1966.

"I shan’t give up my career unless it interferes with our being together. Although I like acting, I’m not one of those dedicated actresses who would pine away if they couldn’t perform. I get as much enjoyment out of good plays and good music". - Jane Asher.

"I knew I was selfish. it caused a few rows. Jane left me once and went off to Bristol to act. I said OK then, leave, I’ll find someone else. It was shattering to be without her". - Paul McCartney.

When I came back after five months, Paul had changed so much. He was on LSD, which I hadn’t shared. I was jealous of all the spiritual experiences he’d had with John. There were fifteen people dropping in all day long. The house had changed and was full of stuff I didn’t know about.” - Jane after homing home after touring with the Bristol Old vic theatre company, 1967.

"Paul had, it appeared, everything— his beautiful and famous girlfriend; his beautiful sheep dog Martha; his St. John’s Wood home, which was slowly filling with Beardsley originals; the platinum albums he sent to his father’s home in the Wirral. He had everything except the one thing every northern man wants most: a wife and children. Because for all the glamour and perfection of his life, Jane Asher would not settle down with him. He was still madly in love with her. For him she was “Here, There, and Everywhere,” and she did more for him than just inspire songs. Only Jane seemed to have any real control over Paul. Only she could gently deflate his impossible ego without destroying his pride. She was able to restore in Paul the one great quality that had been destroyed by his success: humility. Jane loved Paul: he was sweet and well-meaning; he would even make a wonderful father. But he could not be her whole life. She could not live in the shadow of a Beatle."
Peter Brown, The Love You Make.

I haven’t broken it off, but it is broken off, finished. I know it sounds corny, but we still see each other and love each other, but it hasn’t worked out. Perhaps we’ll be childhood sweethearts and meet again and get married when we’re about 70." - Jane about the end of her relationship with Paul, June 20th 1968.


"We nearly did get married. But it always used to fall short of the mark and something happened. And one of us would think it wasnt right... Jane and I had a long good relationship" - Paul McCartney, 1968.



"I always feel very wary including Jane in The Beatles; history. She’s never gone into print about our relationship, whilst everyone on earth has sold their story. So I’d feel weird being the one to kiss and tell.
We had a good relationship. Even with touring there were enough occasions to keep a reasonable relationship going. To tell the truth, the women at that time got sidelined. Now it would be seen as very chauvinist of us. Then it was like: ‘We are four miners who go down the pit. You don’t need women down the pit, do you? We won’t have women down the pit.’ A lot of what we, The Beatles, did was very much in an enclosed scene. Other people found it difficult - even John’s wife, Cynthia, found it very difficult - to penetrate the screen that we had around us. As a kind of safety barrier we had a lot of ‘in’ jokes, little signs, references to music; we had a common bond in that and it was very difficult for any ‘outsider’ to penetrate. That possibly wasn’t good for relationships back then" - Paul McCartney.



"After Jane Asher dumped Paul McCartney he literally used to cry on my shoulder. We hit the bottle together. Hard. ‘I had everything and I threw it all away’ he’d say."
- Alistair Taylor

"I think we expected Paul and Jane Asher to get married. They were lovers, they were together, and it seemed a natural thing to do. I don’t know in the end what actually broke them up. We’ll have to ask him about that, or ask her - that’s probably more interesting!"Ringo Starr

"I never talk about that. Private life is private life". - Jane Asher says firmly about her long relationship with the Beatle Paul McCartney.







"I don't like people talking about their love lives. It's tempting but it's dangerous. It was a minute amount of time 
in my life. Having had a long, happy marriage, it's insulting to Gerald to talk about old boyfriends."  
- Jane Asher, 1997.
 
 
 
 




























"I felt something had hit me,” Jane recalls, “Something had arrived… We both called each other up the next day.” - Jane about when she and Gerald met for the first time, 1971.

"We do have a similar sense of humour. It's a combination of all sorts of things. 
You just have to be grateful that things work." - Jane about her marriage to Gerald.
 
"After such a long time, love becomes something much deeper than individual qualities 

or compatibilities: with three children, two step-children and thirty-four years of 

memories in common, it's hard to decide where one of us stops and the other starts". - Jane Asher about her 
marriage, 2005
 
"For anyone with any kind of public face, maintaining privacy is very important part of 

a successful marriage".  - Jane Asher about her marriage, 2005
 
"You can’t beat 40-odd years of being brought a cup of tea in bed, 
which is what my husband has done for me." - Jane on the most romantic thing
anyone's ever done to her, 2015.