Janet Thompson says that Tokyo International Players has such a sparkling reputation that people, not only those directly associated with TIP, always love to help. "It's wonderful," she said. "We needed secondhand furniture for 'Lend Me a Tenor,' and the company Kensington in Shirogane willingly supplied it. It is so helpful, and we do appreciate it."

Since coming with her husband, David, to Tokyo five years ago, Janet has allied herself with many community activities and good causes. Professionally, he and she set up their own company here, he as financial planner, she as company accountant. As singers and actors, both joined TIP. As well as performing in and directing different productions, both have concerned themselves with the working of the organization. He is vice president, and she is a member of the board.

Janet, from Sheffield, is a small person who has an exceptional voice. Strong though it is, she calls it "a fragile instrument" that needs to be cared for. Although she was the child of unmusical parents, she began to sing and to take singing lessons in her early teens. She went on to train for opera. At the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, she played the lead roles in many Gilbert and Sullivan performances, and character roles in a range of operas.