Anyone else buy paintings by Neil Canning?

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    Martin Jacques

    Many of you fellow actors will remember Neil Canning getting involved in plays at The Grange during the 80s and 90s. I thought he was a talented artist and bought one of his paintings, which was in an exhibition held at the theatre in 1990. My parents also bought two of his earlier works. I know that Jackie Finlay was a fan of his work and owned several pictures by him including a portrait of herself, which I saw at their home in Shipton-u-Wychwood back in the day. Did anyone else buy anything? And if so what? Do you still have it hanging in your home? I still have mine in the lounge of my flat in Christchurch and often look at it and think about those days. Mine is an abstract work of a solitary tree after a storm has blown over – it matches my colour scheme very well and contains many shades of blue and green, which are my favourite colours.

    I think I owe The Grange a huge debt for getting me interested in the arts at a young age. The reason I stayed on at sixth form to do A levels and then went to college is almost entirely due to the intellectual atmosphere that was encouraged at the theatre and soaked into me through osmosis. My interest in art and literature and history all started there. So thanks for the education Fred and Val!

    Jackie Finlay

    Good memories, Martin! Yes we still have several watercolours of Neil’s adorning our walls which we love and value. I was so delighted recently to see an exhibition of his oil paintings in the gallery in Shipston-on-Stour – would have loved to afford to buy one!! The portrait in oils which Neil painted of me, and which you refer to, has pride of place in my study and my granddaughter Genevieve loves it. As you rightly say, I have always been a great fan of Neil’s painting and also of his acting. What a talent, eh?!

    Speaking of talent…..I always remember your brilliant interpretation of the shy and reticent Sandy in “Hay Fever” – I so enjoyed our scenes together. And of course, your fantastic sister Lindsay who played Myra Arundel to absolute perfection. And who can ever forget your mother as the redoubtable Queen Victoria in “Who Goes Home?” – absolutely superb! Great days, weren’t they? And weren’t we lucky to have had the privilege of being part of such a unique experience!

    Martin Jacques

    Thanks for the post Jackie. I was only onstage in a couple of plays at The Grange Theatre, whereas I know you did many more and probably saw you in many of them during the 80s and 90s. You were a terrific actress Jackie and the group was lucky to have you.

    Amazing how Neil’s paintings have rocketed in value – the world has caught on to his talent now, as you say. We always knew he had a promising career ahead of him as an artist even back then. And what a good actor he was also.

    Like you Jackie, I consider myself privileged to have been part of the theatre at the time. It is an experience I will take with me into old age.

    Mum thanks you for your comments too. Funnily enough, you were both in hospital at the same time recently. Hope you are feeling much better now. Mum is taking things easier, except that she is planning to move to a smaller cottage with a postage stamp garden next month. Dad is due to have a heart operation also around the same time – so fingers crossed!

    I am well and currently studying for an A level in Classical Civilisation at a local college as well as doing voluntary work part-time.

    All good wishes.


    Grant Duckett

    Found this site via a circuitous route stemming from seeing Neil’s name pop up as a Facebook friend of another artist friend of mine!
    I played Albert to Sandra’s Queen Victoria – and I’m pretty certain Lindsay played the young Victoria in the same production. Either that or I had to wear the same mostache in the only two productions I acted in! Anyway, I’ve emailed the photographic evidence to Graham.
    I remember thoroughly enjoying being involved both on stage & front of house. The camaraderie. The charming Fred & Val. And that amazing, building – I can smell it now.

    Grant Duckett

    Correction – I played Landsays husband in Harlaquinade, followed by Sandra’s husband in Who Goes Home ,,, in the same moustache! Showing what a versatile actor I must have been!!

    Louise Davies

    We have five. I think we bought the first one at a show he had at the Town Hall at Woodstock. We also saw the first painting of his that was accepted at the Royal Academy. We see the current paintings that he exhibits in Cornwall. They are beautiful but alas too far away from us now.

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