All acting is storytelling of one kind or another…
…but an Audiobook is storytelling in its purest form – no sets, costumes, lights, music or other voices to aid either the actor’s or the listener’s shared imaginative investment in a text. Everything is done by a single voice, which can be really liberating for a versatile performer.
For a bookworm like me, working as an Audiobook Director/Producer is a total joy. I have directed over 400 titles so far, and counting. I respect the responsibility of bringing a book to life, whatever the genre or subject matter, and I get as much satisfaction from directing an interesting history book as from the most rip-roaring adventure.
I have worked for all the leading UK publishing houses, including Audible Pan Macmillan, Penguin, Harper Collins, Time Warner/ Hachette, Naxos, Random House, Hodder Headline, Cambridge University Press and BBC Worldwide, on everything from blue-ribbon classics to brand new releases. I am lucky enough to work with some of the finest voice artists in the industry, but I also enjoy working with actors who are just starting to find their storytelling wings.
My most recent productions (Autumn 2021) include All the Sonnets of Shakespeare, read by Sir Kenneth Branagh and Lolita Chakrabarti (CUP) and Tolstoy’s War and Peace, unabridged, read by Thandiwe Newton (Audible), which was recorded under Lockdown 2020/2021.
NB: Due to Covid restrictions, War and Peace was recorded remotely, so although Thandiwe and I worked together for 30 days, we were only in the same physical studio for 2 days right at the start. Since audio actors and directors always work in separate rooms in a studio, the fact that the barrier was a computer screen rather than a pane of glass made surprisingly little difference to our excellent working relationship. We had so much fun recording this literary epic, which clocks in at a massive 61 hours, and are really proud of our achievement.
Recent Audiobook Projects
I have had the pleasure and privilege of directing the actors Kenneth Brannagh and Lolita Chakrabarti in the audiobook ‘All the Sonnets of Shakespeare’, edited by Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells for Cambridge University Press. This new edition includes sonnets found in Shakespeare’s plays, as