It was with great, great sadness that I heard the news of the death of Anna Scher MBE earlier today.
Anna has meant so much to so many people over the years and there are dozens and dozens of actors, directors and producers who owe their careers to her and the time they spent learning from her at the Anna Scher Theatre.
I have much to thank her for. She always encouraged me to write. She was supportive of the plays I wrote for our weekly classes and the Festival of Plays held at the end of each term. She came to see me wherever I was performing, including all the way to the Edinburgh Fringe to see my one-woman show What’s Eating Me.
Anna was an ambassador for fairness, equality and pluralism. She wasn’t a push-over, but she treated everyone with dignity and love. The world is a poorer place today for her passing.
Here is one of her favourite poems everyone of her students would be familiar with:
First They Came by Pastor Martin Niemoller.
First they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Socialists and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me. And there was no one left to speak out for me.
RIP, dearest Anna. My supporter, my guide, my teacher, my friend.