Jane Bower, Actress, Writer, Speaker (and occasional artist, storyteller, vocal coach)
Welcome to my website! Please scroll down and browse to see the range of work I currently offer.
Entertaining and informative talks - see below
(image top right, giving illustrated talk in Islesboro, Maine, US)
Upcoming concerts/readings with music: March 30th 2022, Downing Place United Reformed Church, Cambridge - see www.downingplaceurc.org under Concerts
Latest news, December 2021:
1.Winner of the Jeremy Lewis Memorial Prize for a piece of writing about the past
2.THREAD AND THRUM MAKES THE FINAL THREE IN THE EYELANDS INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS See cover images above.Thread and Thrum is an exciting and imaginative novel for age 7 to adult, designed to be read to classes, read alone, or in book groups. Includes discussion points. Superbly illustrated by my father Len (whose original training was in book illustration). 30% goes to the Macular Society, as macular degeneration robbed Dad of his sight. In memory of Dad, who died January 4th 2021.
'Thread and thrum' means the good and the bad together - which will triumph?
Available in bookshops and on Amazon. To book an author visit, see contact information below.
Talks, author visits, readings, virtual or real
See the true story of my grandfather's rescue by the enemy, told here
for children: https://youtu.be/uQWp_nupAIc
Scroll down for the full show for age 11 and above, Daddy's Diaries.
July 2020 - winner of the national Christian Aid Poetry competition. My winning poems also feature regularly in The Oldie magazine.
See me in action: Here is a short video of my own story Mrs. Wrinklefinger's Ring, which was broadcast on BBC's Playschool in 1983. Recorded 2015 for Epic Tales (epictales.co.uk) by founder Chip Colquhoun.
Current solo shows:
Owed to Joyce See poster top left
Due to the pandemic my shows at Filey Literature Festival and Garstang Arts Festival are cancelled until further notice
My solo show on the life and work of Joyce Grenfell makes a comeback in a new version.
'A finely judged, mellifluous performance, thrilling to watch!' - audience member
Radio interview : https://cambridge105.co.uk/leigh-chambers-01-04-2019/
To book the show for a public venue or private party, please contact me (scroll down for details)
Daddy's Diaries is the true story of my father's journey through war to peace, with his original clarinet and piano recordings, and slides throughout. Humorous, poignant, with unexpected twists. Suitable for Y6 to adult.
'I sat riveted throughout your wonderful performance - everything worked - I was gripped' - email from audience member
In honour of my father's100th birthday in 2020, and in memory of him (5.6.1920 - 4.1.2021) the full show is on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/bLJ3xy7UPVA
The play has toured since 2015 and was chosen for an Arts Council grant for performances in Cambridgeshire Libraries.
Daddy's Diaries has now been professionally filmed and is available as a DVD, price £10 plus £1.99 postage. This is a non-profit-making venture, with 20% of takings going to the charity War Child (https://www.warchild.org.uk). The sealed case includes photos and explanatory notes. To buy, please contact me.
SEE TV FOOTAGE HERE: https://www.dropbox.com/s/i3e3h4xda6cpegp/Daddy%27s%20Diaries.mp4?dl=0
SEE UNDER 'SHOWS' (on the blue banner above left) FOR FURTHER SHOWS, REVIEWS AND PHOTOS
My shows are designed to be adaptable to a variety of venues and are suitable for fundraising.
Monologues by Jane Bower
Hear two of my monologues as broadcast on January 25th 2020. Canaanite Woman 0.14-7.10, Mary 24.48-27.32
'I felt so with both ladies - in their minds, hearts and lives' - email from listener
Sandstone in my Blood - Ashwood, the first villa in Headingley, Leeds, which was my childhood home and that of Britain's worst Poet Laureate, Alfred Austin See above for next talk via Zoom on May 10th
Ruth, Joyce, Maureen and Me (or Maureen Lipman's handbag) - How I came to write a play for Maureen Lipman and perform it with her on World Cup night
Thread and Thrum - the forty year story - the strange background to my latest book, and its remarkable illustrator, with readings
See under SHOWS for further talks offered
'Jane Bower, as Margery, won the audience within seconds' - review of performance of 'Cell Talk' near Oxford, 2017
My work as a specialist teacher of the arts
To access hundreds of my magazine articles on practical primary art, drama, history, dance, storytelling and other aspects of the arts, visit https://resource-bank.scholastic.co.uk/ and enter 'Jane Bower' in the search box.
Heartfelt thanks to the 616 establishments both here and abroad (India, UAE, Armenia) for which I worked for forty years (455 primary schools, 21 churches, 5 libraries, 17 publishers, 3 TV companies, 5 theatres, 4 tourist attractions, 21 clubs and groups, 13 colleges, 2 museums, 14 private houses, 3 recording studios, 7 secondary schools, 5 village halls, 4 hospitals/care homes, 2 galleries, 35 other educational companies). You provided me with a wonderfully varied freelance career!
Please note: Having completed forty years as a primary specialist I am now retired from teaching in schools, and as associate lecturer in primary art, drama and history at the Faculty of Education. I do, however, retain my keen interest in performance, speaking, writing, singing, vocal delivery, art, drama, dance, acting and storytelling.
If you would like to make a booking for a show or talk, discuss your needs or have any queries, please contact me.
firstname.lastname@example.org 01223 502628
I look forward to working with you!