CULTURE

Anna Scher 1944-2023 — Jewish Renaissance

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Despite her father’s wish that she follow him into dentistry, Scher moved to the UK to study at Brighton School of Music and Art. She juggled a job in local journalism, writing a column for the Islington Gazette, while trying her hand at acting and poetry, followed by a teaching position at Ecclesbourne Junior School. Her work there with children whose first language was not English, was a building block for her future.

The Anna Scher Theatre started as a drama club in the school library during lunch breaks or after hours. Two years later she moved to a nearby bingo hall, where the future Birds of a Feather actors, Linda Robson and Pauline Quirk, were among her students.

Charles Verrall, first her partner in the drama club from 1970 and then for life when they married in 1976, ran the business and charity with her, managing and nurturing young actors, with improv as the base of their training. They had a son, John. Verrall died just weeks before Scher, aged 79.

Despite a breakdown at the turn of the 21st century, which left Scher temporarily out of the business, she showed her mettle by reinventing herself – and the theatre that bore her name.

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