A former actress’ dreams were made to come true, after Hanka Vlhova, an Activities Co-Ordinator at Rivermede Court care home in Egham reunited resident Marcia Ashton with her friend and co-star Sir Ian McKellan after 50 long years!
Marcia Ashton performed on stage with Sir Ian McKellan in ‘How Dare We!’ at the Arts Theatre in Ipswich from 16 January 1963 to 2 February 1963. They have subsequently followed each other’s careers with interest.
Marica had a successful TV and theatre career. As a young actress she had regular work in the West End and regional theatre. She was in the original cast of Alfie, and one of only two actors to be invited to repeat the role on Broadway, where she starred opposite Terrence Stamp. She has also had roles in Eastenders, Brookside, Upstairs Downstairs and Holby City.
Two years ago, she moved into luxury care home, Rivermede Court in Egham and often reminisces about her acting days.
Activities Co-Ordinator, Hanka Vlhova commented, “Two weeks ago, I posted a picture of myself on Facebook giving flowers to Sir Ian McKellan after watching his amazing performance in Frank and Percy at the Royal Theatre, Windsor. Marcia’s family messaged me to tell me that she had performed on stage with Sir Ian. She had even introduced him to one of her granddaughters when they bumped into him at BBC Studios one day.
“I decided to try to reunite Marcia and Sir Ian and contacted the theatre to see if a reunion, 50 years after they were on stage together, would be possible. I can’t thank Sir Ian McKellan and the Theatre Royal enough for agreeing to meet Marcia. Sir Ian was so caring and really wanted to make this happen. It was such a special reunion. Sir Ian really took time to talk to Marcia about their acting careers and her family. Meeting Sir Ian triggered wonderful memories for Marcia and the reunion clearly meant so much to her.”
After the reunion, Marcia said, “I’m speechless – and that doesn’t happen often for me! It was wonderful to see Sir Ian McKellan after all this time. We had a lovely chat about old times. The memory of this reunion will stay with me!”
Edward Lee, Marcia’s son said, “We are so grateful to Hanka at Rivermede Court for organising this. It is clear from the photos and video we saw that Mum thoroughly enjoyed the reunion. Hanka is both kind and an organising genius to have been able to pull this off.”
Kay Lee, Marcia’s daughter-in-law added, “I’m so impressed that Hanka managed to arrange this for Marcia. We can’t thank her enough.”
The delightful reunion was all part of the Sprinkle of Cinnamon initiative, where our teams in all Cinnamon care homes go the extra mile to make residents’ wishes come true.