Welcome to a sample of Dawn’s Voicereel: factual, dramatic or comedic.
Voice tone: Versatile: erudite, warm, sensitive, natural, trustworthy, integrity, reassuring, reliable, encouraging, convincing, compelling, empowering, persuasive, lively, enthusiastic, sensuous and humorous!
Native accent: RP Other Accents/Dialects: Welsh, Cockney, Essex, North Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cornish, Irish, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Liverpool, French, German, Australia, USA (West, East, Southern) – almost any accent.
Singing Styles: soprano 1, opera, rock, pop, folk, Piaf, Kate Bush, Welsh National Anthem and others.
Some of my raw cacao creations: Physalis Peruviana; Lemon Vanilla Caro; Whole Cherry Mousse; Chocolate Mint Leaves by Dawn and Ixcacao, Mayan Goddess of Cacao, Fertility and Abundance. Theobroma, food of the gods, raw cacao contains tryptophan and anandamide which are known stress reducers, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and immune system boosters. So, so much more!
I know she’s not microscopic (it is the female, more deadly than the male! harmless really) but this is the only photograph I have of an insect that once visited my home.
The Oscar to whom Dorothy Parker refers is, of course, the great Oscar Fingal O’Flaherty Wills Wilde. Some years ago, I had the privilege of being a director of the Oscar Wilde Literary Trust and we organised many wonderf ul events including at Magdalen College, Oxford; Westminster Abbey and in Italy. Sir John Mortimer gave after dinners speeches for us and spoke at Westminster as did Simon Callow. Vanessa Redgave spoke at Lady “Speranza” Wilde’s commemoration at Kensal Green Cemetery, unveiled the plaque at 146 Oakley Street, Chelsea where Wilde’s Mother had lived and celebrated with us at the Cadogan Hotel where Wilde was arrested. We were fortunate to have many superb guests and such fascinating events. They were magical times for me.
Various people being interviewed about their favourite poets: includes Shakespeare (or John Dee); Blake; Beatles; Thomas Hardy; Robert Browning; Charles Beaudelaire.
Do listen to the brilliant Aimi Kobayashi playing from a very young age. Beethoven requires no introduction.
One of the greatest plays ever written. The great film of 1952 directed by Anthony Asquith is definitive. The first two photographs of Oscar and myself (standing on a step) at a reception in his honour at the Cadogan Hotel where Sir John Mortimer made a brilliantly entertaining speech. The third photograph is 13 Rue des Beaux Arts, the hotel where Oscar died. Finally, rather blurry but a photograph of Oscar Wilde’s stained glass window at Westminster Abbey. Without the devoted persistence of my dear, sadly departed friend, Andrew McDonnell, the glass would not be there.
It’s true, all my utilities are with UWDC and have been for 9 years (since 2003). Gas, Electricity, Landline, Mobile, Internet – I just wish they’d do water, too! If you’re in the UK, you can take advantage of this too by phoning 0800 131 3000 and quoting my account number 3304504. Or go to www.utilitywarehouse.co.uk where Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders will tell you more! EVERY customer can then use their account number to tell others. Everyone wins!
IDYLL II The Sorceress by Theocritus 300 BC — 260 BC (from Sicily)
The Sorceress is an ancient poem written to be enacted in the Greco-Roman oral tradition. The drama unfolds at the mouth of the Sorceress’s cave under a full moon. As she begins her spell, the reluctant Thestylis (her servant) rustles around to collect the remaining items required for the glamour (original meaning: trickery) she will use to wreak revenge upon her profligate lover.
Where are the bay-leaves, Thestylis, and the charms?
Fetch all; with fiery wool the cauldron crown;
Let glamour win me back my false lord’s heart!
Twelve days the wretch hath not come nigh to me,
Nor made enquiry if I die or live,
His fancy wanders otherwhere:
The slave of Aphrodite and of Love.
But I’ll charm him now – with witcheries potent.
Shine out fair, O moon! All hail, dread Hecate:
Dweller in the shades, at whose approach
E’en the dogs quake, as on she moves through blood
And darkness and the barrows of the slain.
Turn, magic wheel – as we ignite the grain.
Nay, pile it on: Where are thy wits flown, timorous Thestylis?
This tassel from his robe I shred thus
And cast it on the raging flames —
And, by the Fates,
He’ll soon be knocking at the gates of hell.
The audio above is an extract from the brilliant book: “Chatterton” (20 November 1752 – 24 August 1770) by Peter Ackroyd.
The painting of Thomas Chatterton is by Henry Wallis in 1856, note the backdrop of the wealth of the City of London in contast to the young poet’s poverty in his garret.
Chatterton is best known for a collection of poems, written under the pseudonym of Thomas Rowley, a 15th Century monk, which he copied onto parchment and passed off as mediaeval manuscripts completely fooling experts, when he was only a teenager. They were angry instead of delighted with his genius.
The painting created a sensation when it was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1856, accompanied by the following quotation from Marlowe: “Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight And burned is Apollo’s laurel bough.” Ruskin described the work in his Academy Notes as ‘faultless and wonderful’.
Coleridge wrote “Monody on the death of Chatterton”. Wordsworth mentions him in “Resolution and Independence:” “thought of Chatterton, the marvellous Boy / The sleepless Soul that perished in his pride”
Another poet at the mercy of the soul-less said:
“I think they love not art
Who break the crystal of a poet’s heart
That small and sickly eyes may glare and gloat.” Oscar Wilde
Another sampling of my voices and dialects including Marilyn Monroe, a very bored Mrs Edna Krabappel (from The Simpsons) and my opera heroine: “La Divina” Maria Callas (speaking not singing). Sample singing videos to follow.
I read somewhere that because of what the fictional town: Llareggub spells backwards, the wonderful radio play Under Milkwood of 1954, was banned in certain areas of the UK! Gladly, that is no longer the case and there have been many stage performances since then. I lived in Wales from a young age and picked up many different dialects.
A translated extract from: The Wife of Bath’s Tale, one of my favourite characters from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (1342 – 1400) which I first read when I was 15. I hope you enjoy it enough to read the whole tale!
If you wouldn’t put it in your mouth – don’t put it on your skin! A one minute look at why we must protect ourselves from the thousands of chemicals produced over many decades. There are now almost 80,000 in our domestic and personal care products (and others which are also being breathed in from flame retardants on sofas and mattresses; CFCs, VOCs in paint etc. What goes on our skin goes into the blood. We can’t avoid chemicals completely but we can protect ourselves against as many as possible using unsprayed natural ingredients instead of everyday cosmetics, toothpaste, shampoo, washing detergent etc. Make your own or buy from reputable producers.