Janie Dee

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Janie Dee
Born 20 June 1962
Old Windsor, Berkshire, England, UK
Occupation Actress, singer, dancer
Years active 1986–present
Spouse(s) Rupert Wickham (m. 1995)
Children Two Children
Relatives Saskia Wickham (sister-in-law)

Janie Dee (born 20 June 1962) is a British actress and singer. She won the Olivier Award for Best Actress,[1] Evening Standard Award[2] and Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Play, and the Obie[3] and Theatre World Award for Best Newcomer[4] in New York, for her performance as Jacie Triplethree in Alan Ayckbourn's Comic Potential.

She also won the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical[5] for her performance as Carrie Pipperidge in Nicholas Hytner's acclaimed production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel at the National Theatre.

Most recently, Dee won the TMA Theatre Award UK for Best Performance in a Musical in 2013 for her performance as Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly at Curve, Leicester.

Early life & education[edit]

Janie Dee was born in Old Windsor, Berkshire. She is the daughter of John Lewis and Ruth Lewis (née Miller) and the eldest of four sisters. She trained at the Arts Educational School in Chiswick, London. On leaving ArtsEd, Dee began her career as a dancer, subsequently moving to Rome, Italy where she taught dance, took singing lessons, and learned to speak Italian.

Theatre[edit]

1986–2000[edit]

Dee's first West End production was Gillian Lynne's 1986 revival of Cabaret by Kander and Ebb in which she played Gertie and understudied the role of Sally Bowles. This led to an invitation from Wayne Sleep, who played the Emcee in that production, to join his UK tour. Subsequently the choreographer Bill Deamer invited her to the Salisbury Playhouse to perform in A Chorus of Disapproval by Alan Ayckbourn. This began a close association between Dee, Ayckbourn himself and his work.

This led to leading roles in musical theatre, including Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls, Ellie May Chipley in the award-winning Royal Shakespeare Company and Opera North production of Show Boat at the London Palladium, Bombalurina in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies, Claudine in Cole Porter's Can-Can, and Ado Annie in the national tour of Oklahoma!.

Dee's portrayal of Carrie Pipperidge in the 1993 Royal National Theatre's production of Carousel earned her an Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical and an invitation from Sir Richard Eyre to play her first major straight role; that of Julie in Johnny on a Spot at the National Theatre, where she subsequently went on to play Helen of Troy in The Women of Troy.

Dee has had an important working relationship with the playwright and director Alan Ayckbourn. This began with Paul Todd's fringe production of Between The Lines for which Ayckbourn wrote song lyrics and was followed by Dreams From A Summerhouse at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. She returned to work with Ayckbourn in 1996 in Neil Simon's They're Playing Our Song and it was during the run of this show Ayckbourn wrote Comic Potential 'with Janie in mind'. Her performance as Jacie Triplethree at Scarborough, subsequently in the West End and then at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York, won her three Best Actress Awards in 1999 and 2000, an Obie Award in 2001 and a 2000–1 Theatre World Award as Best Newcomer, as well as considerable critical acclaim. In Time Magazine, John Simon wrote "Miss Dee's creation is a spectacular achievement. I am not sure that I have ever seen its equal, but I am certain I have never seen, nor ever will see, it's superior."

2001–10[edit]

Dee is known for her versatility as a performer. She was invited by opera director David Pountney, to play Lidotchka in his production of Shostakovich's Paradise Moscow for Opera North. She followed this playing Masha in Brian Friel's translation of Chekhov's Three Sisters and Edyth Herbert, opposite Tim Flavin in the George Gershwin musical My One and Only, both at the Chichester Festival Theatre. My One and Only subsequently transferred to the West End and Dee was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

As a result, in 2003 Sir Peter Hall asked Dee to star in his season at the Theatre Royal Bath, playing Gilda in Noël Coward's Design for Living and Emma in Harold Pinter's Betrayal, opposite Aden Gillet and Hugo Speer. Betrayal subsequently transferred to the Duchess Theatre in the West End. Hall then invited her to play Beatrice in his production of Much Ado About Nothing.

In 2005 Pinter invited Dee to play Kate in Old Times at the Gate Theatre, Dublin and to participate in a celebration of his work, including a reading of his play Celebration, with Jeremy Irons, Derek Jacobi, Sinéad Cusack, Penelope Wilton, Michael Gambon, Stephen Rea and Stephen Brennan. Producer, Michael Colgan, subsequently transferred the piece to London's Noël Coward Theatre, for 3 performances, with Charles Dance playing the Maitre D. Six months later Celebration was filmed for Channel 4, with Colin Firth playing the role of Russell, opposite Dee as Suki.

In 2006 Dee returned to musical theatre to play Mabel Normand in John Doyle's production of Jerry Herman's Mack & Mabel opposite David Soul at the Criterion Theatre, after which Dee took over the role of Lady Driver in Michael Frayn's Donkeys' Years at the Comedy Theatre. At the end of the run Dee helped to organise a reading for charity of William Nicholson's play Shadowlands which deals with the relationship between C. S. Lewis and the American writer Joy Gresham. Charles Dance played C.S. Lewis.

Sir Peter Hall, Harold Pinter and Dee were reunited for the National tour of Old Times with Susannah Harker and Neil Pearson and then a West End Production of Shadowlands was mounted in which Dee was reunited with director Michael Barker-Caven and Charles Dance. The production began at Wyndham's Theatre and subsequently transferred to the Novello Theatre. Charles Dance received the Critic's Circle Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of C.S. Lewis.

In 2008 Dee returned to the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park to play Olivia in Twelfth Night opposite her Carousel co- star, Clive Rowe.

Alan Ayckbourn then invited Dee back to Scarborough to play the title role of Susan in a revival of his play Woman in Mind for which she won critical acclaim and the production subsequently transferred to London.

In 2009 Dee returned to Theatre Royal Bath to play Orinthia in George Bernard Shaw's The Apple Cart, directed by Sir Peter Hall, played Natalya in Jonathan Kent's production of A Month in the Country at Chichester and took over the role of Annie in Calendar Girls by Tim Firth in the West End. In 2010, Dee played The Countess of Roussillion in All's Well That Ends Well at Shakespeare's Globe which was filmed for DVD release by Opus Arte and Anna Leonowens in Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I at the Curve, Leicester.

2011–present[edit]

In 2011 she played Belinda in the Old Vic revival of Michael Frayn's Noises Off which was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Revival[6] and subsequently transferred to the Novello Theatre. In 2012, Dee was offered the role of women's magazine editor, Miranda in NSFW, a new play by Lucy Kirkwood at the Royal Court Theatre for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.[7]

At Christmas 2012 Dee played Dolly Levi in Paul Kerryson’s revival of Hello Dolly! at the Curve, Leicester for which she won the TMA Theatre Award UK for Best Performance in a Musical.[8]

In 2013 she appeared in the Stephen Sondheim revue, Putting It Together for four performances in Guildford, alongside David Bedella, Daniel Crossley, Damian Humbly and Caroline Sheen which subsequently transferred for a three-week run at the St James Theatre, London in January 2014.

From March until June 2014, Dee co-starred in the London revival of Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre, opposite Dame Angela Lansbury, who reprised her 2009 Tony Award-winning Broadway performance as Madame Arcati. The London cast was Charles Edwards, Jemima Rooper, Serena Evans, Simon Jones and Patsy Ferran.

From September 2014, Dee will play Titania/Hippolyta in Dominic Dromgoole's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream on a tour of Asia & Russia by Shakespeare's Globe. The production opens at the Rose Theatre, Kingston and then tours to Aylesbury Waterside Theatre before travelling to China, Taiwan, Russia, Singapore & Hong Kong. The cast includes Aden Gillet as Oberon/Theseus and Trevor Fox as Bottom.

Film & TV[edit]

Dee has appeared in numerous TV dramas, including Love Hurts, The Bill, as Remy in 8 episodes of London's Burning, Heartbeat, House of Cards, Midsomer Murders, A Tribute to Harold Pinter, the South Bank Show with Sir Peter Hall and In Love With Shakespeare for Sky TV.

In 2003, Dee played Emma Lavenham opposite Martin Shaw's Adam Dalgliesh in two P.D. James adaptations for the BBC; Death in Holy Orders and The Murder Room.

In 2008 she played Zac Efron's mother, Mrs Samuels in Me and Orson Welles and in 2013 Dee filmed Wild, written and directed by Vivienne Decourcy in Dublin for Oasis Films and The Trouble With Dot And Harry, opposite Neil Morrissey directed by Sundance Festival Grand Prize-winner, Gary Walkow, both for future release.

Radio[edit]

Dee has recorded a number of musicals, concerts and dramas for radio, including Carousel and Finian's Rainbow for BBC Radio 2, and she has played Ian Fleming's Miss Moneypenny in radio dramatisations of the James Bond classics On Her Majesty's Secret Service, From Russia With Love and Dr No, as well as a role in Michael Frayn's Skios, all directed by Martin Jarvis.

In 2013 she was invited by composer Guy Barker to be the narrator in his new orchestral work That Obscure Hurt which was premiered at the Aldeburgh Festival 2013, as part of the Benjamin Britten centenary celebrations and was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

She has also appeared as a guest on the quiz show Quote... Unquote for BBC Radio 4.

Recordings[edit]

  • Cabaret (1986 London Revival Cast, First Night Records OCRCD6010)[9]
  • Can Can (1988 London Revival Cast, Virgin CDV 2570)][10]
  • Salad Days (1994 Studio Cast, EMI Classics CDC 5 55200 2)[11]
  • The Shakespeare Revue (1998 Original London Cast, TER Records)[12]
  • Fred Astaire: His Daughter's Tribute (2001 London Cast Recording, First Night Records CASTCD81)[13]
  • Act One: Songs From The Musicals Of Alexander S. Bermange (2008 Dress Circle Records)[14]

Personal[edit]

Janie Dee is married to the actor Rupert Wickham and they have two children.

She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Theatrical Fund and supports a number of charities including Stop the War Coalition, St Mungos, Medecins Sans Frontieres and Amnesty International.

In March 2003, Dee devised and produced the London Concert For Peace, a charity concert celebtrating the joy of life which was performed at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane with a cast including Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen and David Tennant. Proceeds from the concert were donated to Amnesty International, CARE, Oxfam and the Red Cross.

In June 2014, Dee organised a Noel Coward charity cabaret, entitled I Went to a Marvellous Party at the historic Cafe de Paris, as a celebration of and farewell to Dame Angela Lansbury, marking the end of the run of Blithe Spirit in London. The Blithe Spirit company performed songs by Noel Coward, a charity auction was hosted by Christopher Biggins and there were special guest appearances by Imelda Staunton and Barry Humphries. Proceeds from the event were donated to Asylum Link Merseyside, Combined Theatrical Charities, Masterclass, Mousetrap, the Noel Coward Foundation and the Royal Academy of Music.

Work[edit]

Theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Venue
1993 Romeo And Juliet Lady Capulet Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park
1994 Johnny on a Spot Julie Glynn Royal National Theatre
1995 Women of Troy Helen of Troy Royal National Theatre
1999 House / Garden Joanna Mace Stephen Joseph Theatre
1998 Comic Potential Jacie Triplethree Stephen Joseph Theatre / Lyric Theatre
2000 Comic Potential Jacie Triplethree Manahattan Theatre Club
2001 Three Sisters Masha Chichester Festival
2003 Design For Living Gilda Theatre Royal, Bath / Tour
2003 Betrayal Emma Duchess Theatre / Tour
2005 Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice Theatre Royal, Bath
2005 Old Times Kate Gate Theatre, Dublin
2005 Celebration Suki Gate Theatre, Dublin / Albery Theatre
2006 Donkey's Years Lady Driver Comedy Theatre
2007 Old Times Kate National Tour
2007 Shadowlands Joy Gresham Wyndhams Theatre / National Tour
2008 Twelfth Night Olivia Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park
2009 Woman in Mind Susan Stephen Joseph Theatre / Vaudeville Theatre
2009 The Apple Cart Orinthia Theatre Royal, Bath
2009 Calendar Girls Annie Noël Coward Theatre
2010 The Little Hut Susan National Tour
2010 A Month in the Country Natalia Chichester Festival
2011 All's Well That Ends Well Countess of Rousillon Shakespeare's Globe
2011 Private Lives Amanda Nottingham Playhouse
2011 Noises Off Belinda Old Vic / Novello Theatre
2012 NSFW Miranda The Royal Court
2014 Blithe Spirit Ruth Gielgud Theatre
2014 A Midsummer Night's Dream Titania / Hippolyta Shakespeare's Globe on Tour / Asia & Russia

Musical Theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Venue
1986 Cabaret Gussy, Helga, u/s Sally Bowles Strand Theatre
1988 Can-Can Claudine Strand Theatre
1988 Cats Bombalurina New London Theatre
1989 Showboat Ellie May Chipley London Palladium / National Tour
1992 Sophisticated Ladies Company Gielgud Theatre / National Tour
1992 Between The Lines Jenny Etcetera Theatre
1992 Dreams From A Summerhouse Amanda Stephen Joseph Theatre
1993 A Connecticut Yankee Sandy Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park
1993 Carousel Carrie Pipperidge Royal National Theatre
1994 The Shakepare Revue Company RSC (The Pit) / Vaudeville Theatre
1997 They're Playing Our Song Sonia Stephen Joseph Theatre
1998 Enter The Guardsman The Actress Donmar Warehouse
1998 Love Songs For Shopkeepers Michelle Stephen Joseph Theatre
1996 The Sound of Music Maria Crucible, Sheffield
1999 South Pacific Nellie Forbush Crucible, Sheffield
2001 Paradise Moscow Lydochka Opera North
2001 My One And Only Edythe Chichester Festival / Piccadilly Theatre
2002 Divas at the Donmar One Woman Show Donmar Warehouse
2003 Anyone Can Whistle Fay Apple Bridewell Theatre
2006 Mack And Mabel Mabel Normand Criterion Theatre / Tour
2010 The King And I Anna Leonowens Curve, Leicester
2012 Hello Dolly! Dolly Levi Curve, Leicester
2013 Putting It Together Woman One G-Live, Guildford / St James Theatre

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1999 Out of the Cold (The Virtuoso) Consul's Secretary Old Town Pictures / Dir. Aleksandr Buravskiy
2008 Me And Orson Welles Mrs Samuels Cinemax Productions / Dir. Richard Linklater
2013 Wild Marigold Treasure / Dir. Vivienne Decourcy
2013 The Trouble With Dot And Harry Diane Dir. Gary Walkow

Radio[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2003 Under The Net BBC Radio 4 / Dir. Maria Aitken
2004 Forever Mine Angela BBC Radio 4 / Dir. Martin Jarvis
2008 Dr No Miss Moneypenny BBC Radio 4 / Dir. Martin Jarvis
2009 Man of the Moment Trudie Parks BBC Radio 4 / Dir. Martin Jarvis
2009 Words & Music: The Double Narrator BBC Radio 3 / Prod. Peter Meanwell
2012 From Russia With Love Miss Moneypenny BBC Radio 4 / Dir. Martin Jarvis
2013 Skios Georgie BBC Radio 4 / Dir. Martin Jarvis
2013 On Her Majesty's Secret Service Miss Moneypenny BBC Radio 4 / Dir. Martin Jarvis
2013 That Obscure Hurt Narrator BBC Radio 3 / Composer Guy Barker

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Work Result
1993 Olivier Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical Carousel Won
1999 Evening Standard Award for Best Actress Comic Potential Won
1999 Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best Actress Comic Potential Won
2000 Olivier Award for Best Actress Comic Potential Won
2001 Obie Award Comic Potential Won
2003 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical My One and Only Nominated
2013 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role NSFW Nominated
2013 TMA Theatre Awards UK for Best Performance in a Musical Hello Dolly Won

References[edit]

External links[edit]