Cultural Life: Jane Asher, Actress




I saw the most extraordinary Philip Ridley play at the Old Red Lion: Mercury Fur. For those who think for a moment that theatre is inevitably cosy and middle class, this is the play to disillusion them. A terrifying look at a bleak, riot-ridden future. There is a tiny glimpse of hope at the end.


We've recently been on holiday in Arcachon, France and on wet days raided the DVD collection. My husband, Gerald, and I both enjoyed Affliction: adapted from the novel by Russell Banks, it looks at the devastating way that domestic violence can affect the next generation – unless the cycle is broken.


I tend to revert to classical when I'm in need of comfort or reassurance, and that's exactly what's called for when in the dressing room before curtain up – at least during the first few terrifying days of previews and press nights. Listening to my regular favourites – Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and so on – I always feel, quite misguidedly, that nothing can be too bad if such beauty and brilliance exists in the world.


As an Ian McEwan groupie I had, of course, pre-ordered his latest, Sweet Tooth. I've read it far too quickly and only wish I still had it to look forward to.

Jane Asher is in 'Charley's Aunt', the Menier Chocolate Factory, London SE1, until 10 November (www.menier