[Assembly/News Section]

[History  - Who is who?]


[Arts Class - Fanart]

[Myths and Legends - Ep Guide]

[Lunchbreak - Message Board]

[Library - Fanfics and Books]

[Chanting - Song Lyrics]


[Sorcery Studies - Guestbook]


[Language Skills]



Look for autographs here

More screengrabs of K.D. and reviews here...

and still more here...

Kate Duchêne worked with the “Cambridge Footlights” in 1981 - 1985 during her time at Cambridge university , with the MCC running a drama workshop, later appeared in several performances of the RSC. She also starred in  many TV series and films - you can read her TV and Theatre record below the pics - and there are many links to reviews further down. Since her appearance as Miss Hardbroom in “The Worst Witch” she has worked at the Dublin Theatre and in London with the OSC and RSC - and has been spotted in some commercials. In 2002/3 she played a movie part in “Monsieur N.” - a story about Napoleon, filmed in South Africa - and in 2003 she´s been playing “Titania” in  Shakespeare´s “ A Midsummer Night´s  dream”. Funny now - all roles I´ve seen her in so far are always rather sinister and gloomy... wonder why? =) if you want to see her as murderess or criminal housemaid, you should have a peek at Midsomer Murders or Miss Marple... To save scrolling, click on the red links - and use your “back” button to get back to the place from which U started.


Kate Duchêne with the cast of BBC “Citizens” (second from left) - my, she can actually smile!


Kate Duchêne in : The Bill










Movie: Monsieur N. (2002/3): “Madame Balcombe”

Shortfilm: 1999 Calendar Girls

CD Recordings: Tales for today

Radio productions: BBC Radiosoap “Citizens”, “Ironhand - parts 1&2, “Lessons in Italian”, “Grosse Fugue”, “Ivy Who”, “Losing Venice”, “Blokada” and “The Wishhouse” - all being aired in BBC Radio 3 & 4 - or BBC Radio Scotland.

Concert Performances: A Midsummer Night´s Dream (1999)  -“Titania/Hippolita” - City of London Sinfonia


1981 - 85 Cambridge Footlights

1979/80 The Balcony - “Carmen”-  ADC Theatre, Cambridge

1979/80 Three Sisters - “Olga” -  ADC Theatre, Cambridge

1979/ 80 The Duchess of Malfi- “The Duchess” - ADC Theatre, Cambridge

1981  Measure for Measure - “Mariana - Cambridge Mummers - Edinburgh Festival & Almeida

1981 A Respectable Wedding - “Mother” - Cambridge Mummers - Edinburgh Festival & Almeida

1981 Carry on up - Pandora´s Box - Cambridge Mummers - Edinburgh Festival & Almeida

1983 work with Micron Theatre Company

1984 Taking Steps - “Kitty” - Octagon Theatre, Bolton

1984 Spring & Port Wine - “Florence” - Octagon Theatre, Bolton

1984 Wuthering Heights - “Ellen Dean” - Ocagon Theatre, Bolton

1984 The Real Inspector Hound - “Cynthia” - Octagon Theatre, Bolton

1984/6 Kathy and the Hippopotamus - “Ana” - Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

1984/6  Lucy´s Play  - “Lucy” -  Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

1984/6 Losing Venice - “Duchess/Priest” - Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, also toured to Australia, Sweden, HongKong & played at the Almeida

1984/6 White Rose - “Lily Litvac” - Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Also transferred to Almeida

1984/6 Dead Men - “Anna” - Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Also Toured Australia

1984/6 Klimkov - “Rayissa/Olga” - Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

1986 The Sea - “Rose” - Playhouse Theatre, Leeds

1989  Love´s Labours Lost  - “Princess of France” - Chichester Festival

1989 Summerfolk - “Kaleria” - Chichester Festival

1989 The triumph of Love -  Chichester Festival

1989 Cloud Nine - “Maud/Betty” - Chichester Festival

1989/ 90 The Cherry Orchard - “Charlotta” - Aldwych Theatre - Michael Codron Productions

1990 Kean - “Amy” - Old Vic Theatre & Tour to Toronto - Mirvish Productions

1991 The Miser - “Elise” - Royal National Theatre

1991 The Resistable Rise of Arturo UI - Royal National Theatre

1992 The Rivals  - “Lydia” - West Yorkshire Playhouse

1992/3 “Richard III”, (Royal Shakespeare Company): “Queen Elizabeth” - RSC Tour

1993/4 “The Country Wife”  - “Mrs Alithea” - “RSC Stratford /Barbican Season

1993/4: “The Merchant of Venice” - “Jessica” - RSC Stratfort/Barbican Season

1993/4: Murder in the Cathedral - “Chorus” - RSC Stratford/Barbican Sesason

1994/5 Hated Nightfall - “Caroline” - RSC Stratford/ Barbican Sesason

1995 - 1997 “The Cherry Orchard”: Varya (click for two reviews) - RSC Stratford/ Barbican Season

1996/6 The Relapse - “Amanda” - RSC Stratford/Barbican Season

1995/6 Faust Part I & II - “Earth Spirit/ Martha/ Helen of Troy- RSC Stratfortd / Barbican Season

1997 “The Herbal Bed”  - “Susanna” - Duchess Theatre

 1999 “Small Craft Warnings”: “ Violet”

2001: Iphigenia at Aulis: “Queen Clytemnestra

2002: The Inland Sea: Wilton´s Music Hall, London

2003: A Midsummer Night´s Dream - “Titania”

Filmography & TV:

"Worst Witch, The" (1998 - 2000) TV Series .... “Miss Hardbroom”

Tall Guy, The (1989) .... “Old Girlfriend”

At Bertram's Hotel (1986) (TV) .... “Rose”
... aka Miss Marple: At Bertram's Hotel (1987) (TV) (UK: series title)

TV  appearances

"Midsomer Murders" (1997) playing "Jane Bennett" in episode: "Garden of Death" (episode # 4.1) 9/10/2000 general infos bout MM

"Bill, The" (1983) playing "Laura" in episode: "On The Wagon" (episode # 2000.11) 2/10/2000 - some  screengrabs and a review

"Boon" (1986) playing "Pregnant Lady" in episode: "Paper Mafia" (episode # 2.11) 11/17/1987

"Peak Practice" (1993) playing "Dr Jenny Ryan" in episode: "Buying Time" (episode # 8.5) 10/12/1999

"Kiss Me Kate" (1998) playing "Lesley" in episode: "Calendar" (episode # 1.3) 5/18/1998

"Kiss Me Kate" (1998) playing "Lesley" in episode: "Mike" (episode # 1.2) 5/11/1998

“Out of Hours” (1998) - “Sue Craven”

"This Is David Harper" (1990) playing "Caroline Jones" in episode: "Dubious Achievement" (episode # 1.1) 11/2/1990 general info

“Wing and a Prayer” ( 1997)- “Gillian Rhodes”

“A Sense of Guilt”

“England their England”








The Cherry Orchard

Review By Emma Shane Let me start by saying that this is not really a review of the play, I am just describing when I went to see it. I was in my second year of University and living next-door in my Hall of Residence was Sarah Waller, a drama student and trainee theatre director, her hero is the great Adrian Noble. Consequently Sarah just has to see any show he directs, which in this case was The Cherry Orchard. I had never before seen a Checkov play. However I thought to myself "well Louise Gold is in it, so it can’t be too boring", so we went to see it. There was one thing which particularly surprised me.

First a bit about whose who the cast in order of appearance are:

Lopakhin - a business man friend of the family, with a humble background. He tries to persuade the family to develop The Cherry Orchard to pay off their debts. otherwise it will have to be sold. He is apparently in love with Varya, only he never gets round to proposing, he doesn’t really want to.

Dunyasha - a maid. She is a wild excited creature rushing here there and everywhere, and in fact practically running on and off stage. she is trying, rather unsuccessfully, to get Yasha to seduce her. I will say more about her later.

Ephihodov - a clerk.

Firs - a manservant. He is basically assigned to Gaev. He is of the old style, he does not want his freedom. He is old and ill.

Mme Ranyevskaya - an estate owner. She owns the estate on which The Cherry Orchard Stands. She is something of a spendthrift, hence the family’s debts, well some of them. Since the death of her son six years ago she has been living in Paris, with a lover, who has left her, run off with another woman, but is now trying to get back with her. She had felt that she had to get right away from the place where her son was drowned, but is now coming home, to face the family’s debts.

Anya - Mme Ranyevskaya’s daughter. She is in love with Trofimov actually their’s is something above mere love!

Varya - Mme Ranyevskaya’s adopted daughter, and Anya’s adopted elder sister. She is apparently in love with Lopakhin, only he never gets round to proposing. She likes getting up early to run the house and has been looking after it in Mme Ranyevskaya’s absence. She seems extremely quiet and demur.

Charlotte - Anya’s governess. She does not know where she comes from, she was abandoned as a small child. Found and educated she does not know her background, she wonders who she is. She may have some circus connections given her love of performing conjuring tricks.

Gaev - Mme Ranyevskaya’s brother, seems, with Varya, to have been looking after her estate in her absence. He is a bit nutty, does things like making speeches to the bookcase, on its centenary, (but then what’s wrong with that!).

Semyonov-Pishchik - a neighbouring estate owner. He is always borrowing money from the family, which he eventually pays back part of when a mine is found on his land (I forget exactly what metal the mine is a mine of).

Yasha - a manservant. Mme Ranyevskaya’s manservant to be precise, he has been away with her in Paris for the past six years, but has now come back to the big house. Dunyasha is obviously in love with him and tries to get him to seduce her, and marry her.

Trofimov - a perpetual student. He was Mme Ranyevskaya’s sons tutor. He is in love with Anya, but theirs is something above love. Varya never seems to let him and Anya be alone together. He doesn’t want much in life, only Anya and his galoshes.

The first act opens with Lopakhin and Dunyasha, on stage. Dunyasha is in her maid’s uniform. The family are assembling to greet Mme Ranyevskaya who is arriving back from Paris after six years absence. Anya and Charlotte have gone to Paris to meet her. Throughout this scene everyone keeps coming in and out and greeting each other, and Mme Ranyevskaya says how nice it is to be back and such like. Anya is glad to be home too, even though she’s only been away a few days. During a lull in the proceedings, when only Dunyasha and Yasha are on stage she tries to greet him, but he has some difficulty in recognising her: She is saying "Don’t you recognise me. I’m Dunyasha" (so n so) "’s daughter", eventually she sighs "Well I was only about that high when ya left’, indicating with her hands, this was an extremely convincing a reason for him not to know her, as she is a pretty big woman, 5ft 9". Although the quiet Varya is an inch taller, she was far less noticeable .

It is realised that it is the bookcases centenary, and Gaev makes a speech about this. Trofimov enters, despite having been asked to stay away until tomorrow, this causes Mme Ranyevskaya to have a crying fit about her dead son. Lopakhin puts forward his proposed scheme for The Cherry Orchard, but Mme Ranyevskaya and Gaev do not want to know, even though it is obvious that they must do something about their debts.The scene ends with Varya and Anya alone on the stage, and Anya, who is very tired, as a result of travelling falls asleep on her adopted sister’s shoulder.

Next came a scene in The Cherry Orchard itself. This was the scene which I found extremely amazing, and I will describe it in detail later.

The close of Act 1 is taken up with Mme Ranyevskaya revealing everything about her life in Paris, and her lover. There is also a plan a foot to apply to a rich Aunt for money, this was not all that successful.

Act 2 commences with the family throwing a party, on the day that The Cherry Orchard is to be auctioned to pay off their debts. Everybody is dancing. Well that is to say, Lopakhin and Gaev are absent at the auction, Mme Ranyevskaya is presumably a little old for dancing. However Anya, Varya, Trofimov and various others are all dancing, so too, in order to make up the numbers, is Dunyasha (who as usual is in her maid’s uniform) - she periodically gets sent off to get the musicians refreshments, at one point there I almost thought she was about to sing! (well I’m rather more accustomed to musicals than Chekhov!). Somewhere in the middle of the dancing, actually while Mme Ranyevskaya was standing in the fore of the stage going on wondering what was happening at the auction, in the background, just in front of the musicians who should come dancing across the stage but Dunyasha - this was really quite amusing (Perhaps the director put it in for a bit of light relief).

Charlotte then amuses the party by performing some of her conjuring tricks.

Towards the end of the party Lopakhin and Gaev arrive and Lopakhin making his surprising announcement , he has bought The Cherry Orchard, therefore he can now carry out his plan to develop the sight. The family are all a bit upset about this, but it is inevitable, and they all decide to go away.

This was really, David Troughton as, Lopakhin’s big scene, he was really excited having the time of his life, talking, laughing, dancing all over the stage. Most of the other principles were standing to the side of the stage, and so were not all that noticeable, from the audiences view point. However the tall Dunyasha was standing near the centre of the stage, just in front of the musicians (at the back of the stage) and in absolutely FULL view of the audience. She was, like the rest of the cast, completely stock still; However I could not help feeling that from where she was standing the temptation to up-stage David Troughton, somewhat, by moving, however slightly, must have been enormous, for the actress concerned. (I mean if she were in a comedy, or a Musical and a situation like that arose, she would almost certainly try to up-stage)

The final scene is one of everyone packing up. It is set in the hall way and the servants, including the tall Dunyasha keep bringing in more and more boxes and piling them high. It is also a scene of trying, and generally not succeeding, in tying up the loose ends of the love plots: It has already been pretty much established that Anya and Trofimov are going off together, and she plans to get a job (I forget what doing, either teaching or secretarial work I think).Trofimov is searching wildly for his galoshes, (a bit like ‘enry ‘iggin’s slippers) . Now Mme Ranyevskaya finally talks Lopakhin into proposing to Varya, she leaves them alone together, but still he never quite gets round to it. Varya is going to take up a position as housekeeper to some friends. Dunyasha makes one final last ditch attempt to get Yasha, and in fact throws herself on the floor (she’s rather good at that) at his feet, and grabs hold of his leg, begging him to take her with him, it was really awfully amusing (she’s also rather good at crawling around on the floor), quite a comic highlight. He shakes her off and she is left to serve Lopakhin, or whoever he lets the house to, anyhow she remains as a servant to the estate. The old and infirm Firs, so we are told has been sent to a hospital. However, when everyone else has left, we discover at the end of the play that he has in fact been left alone in a locked up house to die.

Now to tell you about the scene which was so extraordinary I just can’t get over it: This was the scene in The Cherry Orchard itself, but first I should just explain:

In the opening scene all the gentry were nicely dressed and, apart from Mme Ranyevskaya’s crying fit, very quiet and sedate. Indeed Varya, apart from being tall, was so quiet that she did not attract that much attention. By contrast the servants, who were all in uniform, were quicker, more excitable, and generally more noticeable. Dunyasha, in particular, is rushing about like a mad thing, in fact she was practically running on and off stage, serving coffee, and trying to greet Anya (who has only been away for a few days), saying that she’s going to faint, and that she’s got a secret to tell. She was really a very distinctive character

Then came this particular scene in The Cherry Orchard itself. There were five people present: Two men, one of whom was obviously Trofimov, I was not initially sure who the other was. There were also three women: Charlotte - who for some inexplicable reason was carrying a rifle, Anya, and a third woman who was sitting serenely on the bench wearing in a skirt and blouse, being altogether quite unnoticeable, she was so quiet calm, and dignified. This last was quite a tall woman, and I therefore assumed she must be Varya. Charlotte gave us a great monologue about herself and how she did not really know who she was, she then exited. The two men then proceeded to have a discussion on, life, love and goodness only knows what else. The other man, not Trofimov had a pistol with him, just in case he should ever want to commit suicide. This conversation got a bit boring and I found myself thinking "I wish Dunyasha would come on, she’d liven things up a bit" . The other man, having put away his pistol, produced a ukulele and the two men started to sing, some kind of love song. They were two fine actors, this IS the RSC, but they were not great singers, or at least not suited to the song, (well this is a straight classical drama, and I am used to MUSICALS - where almost everybody CAN sing, and sing well) so I found myself thinking "I wish Dunyasha would come on, maybe she could sing".

I then found myself watching the actors themselves closely: I noticed that the woman sitting oh so serenely on the bench had red hair; and I thought to myself "I wonder how many of the actresses in this production have red hair": for Mme Ranyevskaya has red hair and Dunyasha has red hair, (so presumably Varya does too). I notice this woman’s hair is similar that peculiar shade of red (This quote is from the Neil Barrtlet adaptation of Lady Into Fox), like Dunyasha’s, how I wished she’d come on , (looking at her hair, and I still didn’t get it).

Then the other man, the two men had stopped singing by this time , and were talking about love, called out

"Dunyasha, what to you think?"

I was at once alert, looking round the stage, expecting her to come rushing on in her maids uniform. And theit dawned on me. "Oh my goodness The woman on the bench is Dunyasha!" !!

I was, and indeed still am, completely flabbergasted. There I was wishing she would come on and she was there all the time! I had completely failed to recognises her! I almost couldn’t believe it. and such a distinctive, noticeable character too. I don’t know if it was my lack of observation (and by the way Varya had dark brownish/blackish hair, anyway not red), or her excellent acting. I suppose it might have been a mixture of both, that made me not recognise her so, but I Still can’t get over it. How could I sit through half a scene without, realising who she was, without recognising her!

But what made this really surprising was who played Dunyasha, she was, just about the one performer you’d think I would have managed to recognise, Louise Gold! !

Well after that amazing revelation I was certainly more interested in the scene, which in any case got rather more interesting. Anya and Trofimov went off together, leaving the other two, he was in fact Yasha, alone on the stage, for some scene together. Dunyasha tried to get Yasha to get her on the floor, and fact succeeded, except that in the middle of embracing her he suddenly stood up and started telling her off: trying to teach her a lesson, trying to teach her not to go chasing after men.

That’s the third production within a year which has found Louise Gold crawling around on the floor, the other two were the musicals LADY IN FOX and PANAMA HATTIE, it is quite funny to watch this tall creature on the floor.

The Cast (in order of appearance were): Lopakhin - David Troughton, Dunyasha - Louise Gold, Ephihodov - John Dougall, Firs - Peter Copley, Mme Ranyevskaya - Penelope Wilton, Anya - Emilia Fox, Varya - Kate Duchene, Charlotte - Darlene Johnson, Gaev - Alec McCowen, Semyonov-Pishchik - James Hayes, Yasha - Mark Lockyer, Trofimov - Sean Murray.

This production played: The Swan in Stratford upon Avon from (some time after 3 but before 24) October - 9 November 1996 and The Alberry London 25 November 1996 - 25 January 1997

National tour: Festival Theater Chichester 27 Jauary - 1 February, Theater Royal Nottingham 3-8 February, Theatre Royal Newcastle 10-15 February, N Wales Theatre Llanndudno 25 February - 1 March, Theatre Royal Bath 3 - 8 March, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guilford 10 - 15 March and Richmond Theatre (Surrey) 17-22 March 1997.

"Different kinds of too- English restraint also prevent Kate Duchene's Varya, Sean Murray's Trofimov, Emila Fox's Anya and Louise Gold's Dunyasha from turning their intelligent sensitive characterisations into brimful living characters." Alastair Macaulay, FINANCIAL TIMES, 27 November 1996


Pleasance London, London N7
Opened 21 May, 1999

One night in a small Pacific beachfront bar: a few minor spats, a few minor soul-barings, but overall nothing much happens; the characters for the most part exhibit various flavours of grizzled stoicism. It does not sound much like Tennessee Williams, but Williams it is. Whether it indicates a writer in decline from the racked dramas of his peak, or whether he decided right at the end of his career to dispense with the gaudier melodramatic trappings and get straight to the heart of his subjects, is a matter for debate. Certainly, on the evidence of this – only its third professional British production in a quarter of a century or more – Small Craft Warnings (1972) is not by any means a slight work.

Rufus Norris's production is at its shakiest when Williams's writing is likewise – abandoning all pretence to actual drama and simply showing the kernels of most of his characters through set-piece monologues, which Norris has little option but to spotlight and direct straight at the audience. The rest of the two hours, though, is taken up with fine, unfussy ensemble playing. As bar owner Monk, concerned for his clients but mostly just after a quiet, undistinguished life, Bill Bailey looks like the father of his comedian namesake but sounds as understated as late-period Robert Mitchum. Kate Duchene's ragged, no-hope Violet – not so much a whore as just a compulsive, casual masturbatrix of any man who comes within range – seems to inhabit a frail, foggy world of her own and yet harmonises completely with the performances going on around her. Ed Bishop almost literally fades into the rear wall when his struck-off, alcoholic Doc is not the focus of attention.

Susannah York's Leona – an ageing beautician in a camper van who blows from town to town once she recognises that she has grown stale to her latest companion – stands out, but does not hog the limelight. Caring and considerately worldly-wise in her more reflective moments, she is as often possessed by a New York kind of jitteriness (all two-handed clean-and-jerk gestures), and both dresses and walks like a superannuated gawky adolescent; it is as if Leona's heart, her desires – the core of her – never grew up along with her understanding; her head knows better, but her body continues to yearn, clutch and lunge. York does not find a wholly consistent path through these contradictions, but nevertheless show refreshingly that there is more to Williams than breathless Southern drawls or the torture of repressed homosexuality.

Written for the Financial Times.

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.




The Herbal Bed

A list of the details for productions of "The Herbal Bed" currently held in the UKTW database.

The database goes back to 1995 and, although not complete, represents a large body of information on UK performing arts. CDs, Cassettes, Videos

Synopsis: The true (?) story of Shakespeare's daughter Susanna, being accused of having an affair with a married man. She sues for slander. But will her husband, John Hall discover what really happened one summer night in the herbal garden. Won Peter Whelan the Lloyds Private Banking Playwright of the Year award, 1997.

UKTW Production Code: RSC97 - Performances

Design Robert Jones
Lighting Alan Burrett
Composer Adrian Johnston
Direction Michael Attenborough
Performer Raymond Bowers
Performer Kate Duchene
Performer Mick Ford
Performer Christopher Hunter
Performer Katy Odey
Performer Adrian Rawlins
Performer Daniel Ryan


Iphigenia at Aulis
Euripides, translated by Don Taylor

Dublin:The Abbey Theatre
March 28 - April 21, 2001

Iphigenia in Aulis ______________________The National Theatre may be hoping that the enduring esteem of their recent production of Euripides’ Medea will bring patrons to Iphigenia at Aulis. It is a serious work of classical Greek theatre in its own right though, and this is an impressive and involving production. It may lack an actor of Fiona Shaw’s power and presence and the play alone certainly lacks a central character of the same stature, but Iphigenia at Aulis shares a sense of the human and a social drama at stake. It is also cognisant of the monumental significance of every act of god or man, set as it is at the outset of the Trojan War; a time when the will of the gods weighed heavy on human affairs.
The story deals with the personal and political crises which ensue when the goddess Artemis demands the sacrifice of Iphigenia, eldest daughter of Agamemnon, in exchange for fair winds which will carry his troops across the sea to Troy. Under the pretext that she is to be married to Achilles, Agamemnon has written to his wife Clytemnestra requesting that she bring the girl to Aulis, where the fleet is stranded and the army is restless. As the play opens, Agamemnon has decided to retract his request in the hopes of sparing his daughter. But the tide of fate sweeps him along. The message is intercepted by his angry brother Menelaus (whose wife Helen has been brought to Troy by Paris, precipitating the conflict in the first place). He threatens to reveal Agamemnon’s cowardice unless he proceeds with the original plan. The family eventually arrives expecting an event of quite a different timbre from that which now must take place.
It is interesting that the Abbey’s production of Euripides’ play is running at the same time that Neil LaBute’s contemporary rewriting of it is part of the complication entitled Bash at the Gate. LaBute drained the tale of its mythic qualities by setting it in a mundane environment where the consequences of the characters’ actions were made to seem ironically futile. A different set of ironies underlie the more socially meaningful events in question here, ones which would have been familiar to a Greek audience from the myths upon which the play was based. The Trojan war would be a victory for their armies, but its costs in the lives of heroes would be felt even after the conflict itself was concluded. The characters featured here would eventually meet gruesome fates at the hands of their families in the name of less noble causes than the fate of the motherland. The resolution of the play is therefore both triumph and tragedy. Despite a characteristic deus ex machina, there is a sense of ambiguous emotions and uncertain destinies which suggests only cold comfort in its outcome. Artemis is appeased, but Iphigenia is gone, and Agamemnon leaves his people for ten years of war from which he will only return to his own murder by Clytemnestra’s lover.
One of the difficulties of staging this kind of play is that the emotions involved are often so extreme and their expression so vehement that contemporary audiences don’t know what to make of it. There were one or two moments of inappropriate laughter during the show attended by this reviewer, mostly when the character of Achilles (portrayed by Justin Salinger) was on stage. He is played with a stiffness and sincerity necessary under the circumstances, but which somehow seems comic (or at least tongue-in-cheek) in a way which threatens to unseat the delicate balance of the play on the whole. These characters are writ large, and though there are understandable human dramas afoot, sometimes the notions of self, honour, and duty central to them can be hard to connect with on this level, especially when ancient and alien history is in question.
Nonetheless this is a gripping production, beautifully designed by Francis O’Connor and superbly lit by Peter Mumford. In an attempt to emphasise the universality of the themes and issues, the production has been set during the Second World War. This gives the audience identifiable iconographical reference points which supplant the original setting. This works, and with sneaky references to fascism, the play also questions the morality of military conflict on the whole. Yet the text refuses to allow villainy to become a matter of black and white. All of the characters’ actions are shown in the context of the machinations of the gods. Whether literal or not, these larger forces are shown to affect the decisions of ordinary human beings to an extent which makes events seem beyond their control. Thus it is their responses which become all important, and, by turn, the consequences of those responses for both themselves and their society. Agamemnon in particular is central to this theme, alternating between decency and callousness depending on the situation.
The play gradually builds to a powerful climax where a range of complex character transitions come to fruition with Iphigenia’s acceptance of her destiny. Throughout the play a low-key but effective music score by Laura Forrest-Hay has been gnawing away at your nerves, and it rises to a crescendo as the sacrifice occurs off stage. Again we see evidence of the complexity of the text in the mixed emotions on display. As Clytemnestra screams, the wind howls and the chorus break off their salute to the glory of Greece with uncertainty. A ‘happy’ resolution follows which only signals the start of the war: is this all to the good?
The actors generally manage to hit the right tone, certainly at the more important moments, with Chris McHallem making a suitably intense Agamemnon and Kate Duchene an imperious Clytemnestra. Iphigenia is portrayed by Pauline Hutton with a reasonable balance of girlishness and maturity. Frank Laverty makes a strong impression as Menelaus (and shares one of the best scenes in the production in his confrontation with McHallem). Support is provided by Fergal McElherron and Justin Salinger, and also by a chorus including Gina Moxley and Stella Feehily.

Dublin, April 8, 2001 - Harvey O'Brien



Calendar Girls
( UK 1999) 16mm Kodak: 20 min. Director: Tamar Yarom Production Company: LIFS. Women are a mystery to Ray, he cannot understand his wife, his bald sister, his visionary mother or his daughter. Producer: Adel Fares DP/Lighting Camera: Margaux Bonhomme Sound recordist: Justin Pearce editor: Joakim Pietras music/composer: Pablo Garcia writer: Tamar Yarom. Cast: Sean Murray, Kate Duchene, Verity Watts, Sheila Ballentine, EmmaM. Sales Contact: London International Film School.



The classic English village murder mystery has long been a favourite of aficionados of detective stories. The most famous exponent of the craft was probably Agatha Christie's spinster sleuth Miss Marple, who from her home in the fictitious village of St. Mary Mead unravelled complex plots and announced 'whodunit' long before the plodding police inspector in charge of the case had found his first suspect. Set in the 30's and 40's Miss Marple solved murders that on the whole,were rather on the genteel side.

Following in this great tradition we now have the Midsomer Murders featuring Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby, the creation of writer Caroline Graham on whose books the early teleplays were based. Midsomer Murders however, is set firmly in the present and the murders Barnaby and Troy are faced with include decapitations, burning alive and gruesome stabbings with farm implements and kitchen knives. Likewise, they are often forced to confront drug taking, incest, gay sex and sado-masochism, items strictly taboo in Miss Marple's day!

The settings, however, remain the same. The English country village conjures up a unique vision of fetes, cricket on the green and tea at the vicarage. The collection of villages known as Midsomer has all these attributes but behind the lace curtains and carefully manicured gardens there also lies evil, blackmail, greed, revenge and, of course, murder. In fact the area seems to house a higher proportion of homicidal psychopaths than the worst inner city ghetto.

The lead character, Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby (excellently played by John Nettles, no stranger to T.V. detective work after his long stint as Bergerac in the equally picturesque Jersey) is a career policeman in early middle age. His background is a little sketchy though it would appear he once served with the Met, reference his remark in one episode of how he caught the colourfully named 'Pimlico Poisoner'. He would appear to have been in Midsomer only a few years, as in another segment he refers to a series of stranglings in the woods 9 years earlier as being 'before my time'.

Unusually for a T.V. detective these days, Barnaby has no problems with his superiors nor a chip on his shoulder. He goes by the book though not adverse to breaking the occasional rule to help things along. He will tread on toes if necessary but uses logical reasoning and experienced deduction to solve his cases. This often involves rattling skeletons in long forgotten closets as many of the crimes in Midsomer are the result of dark secrets from the past.

Barnaby is happily married to Joyce, though her standard of cooking sometimes makes him inclined to want to eat out rather than in the family home! They have a grown up daughter, Cully (Laura Howard), an aspiring actress, and both Cully and Joyce are often woven into the plots.

The other main character in the series is Detective Sergeant Troy (Daniel Casey). Troy is a local lad, enthusiastic and with great respect for Barnaby. He always calls him 'Sir' even on off-duty moments, though Barnaby always addresses him as Troy. Barnaby is often exasperated by Troy, particularly his driving, but uses him for much of the less pleasant and arduous leg work. He generally sends Troy in first to see the most recent corpse especially if it is messy.

The series is not without humour despite the sinister goings on. Barnaby is involved in much light hearted banter with his family and in one episode suffered the indignity of going on a forced diet by his wife and daughter much to his displeasure.

Other pluses which help make the series a success are the calibre of guest actors and actresses such as Richard Briers, Hannah Gordon, Timothy West, Prunella Scales and James Bolam much of the cream of British acting talent. Of course the other factor is the beautiful scenes of the English countryside, villages and manor houses which are an inspiration in themselves.

Chris Street



2nd Series 1990 (series is re-titled This is David Harper)

_"Dubious Achievement"
gs: Ian Barritt [ Richard Clement ], James Bowers [ Stephen Green ], Kate Duchene [ Caroline Jones ], David Coussell [ Pianist ], Bernard Gallagher [ Malcolm Fletton ], Lyn Langridge [ Spanish Teacher ], Hugh Munro [ Dr. Stephen Siddley ], Anne-Marie Owens [ Opera Singer ], Pauline Thomson [ Maths Teacher ], Tilly Vosburgh [ Mary Wendis ], Peter Waddington [ Gordon Wendis ], Todd Welling [ Trevor Matthews ]

b: 2 Nov 90



  Monsieur N.

Fiche avancée Genre: Historique, Aventure


Origine: France, Angleterre


Durée: 120 minutes


Date de sortie: 12/02/2003


Public: Tous publics


Réalisé par: Antoine de Caunes


Produit par: Pierre Kubel, france 3 cinéma, Studio Canal, Bac Films


Scénariste(s): René Manzor,Antoine de Caunes


Distributeur(s): Mars Films


Avec: Philippe Torreton (Napoléon Bonaparte), Roschdy Zem (Maréchal Bertrand), Elsa Zylberstein (Albine de Montholon), Keira Knightley (Betsy), Bruno Putzulu (Cipriani), Richard E. Grant (le gouverneur Hudson Lowe), Stéphane Freiss (Montholon), Jay Rodan (Heathcote), Richard Heffer (M Balcombe), Kate Duchene (Mme Balcombe), Siobhan Hewlett (Betsy Balcombe), Frédéric Pierrot (Gourgaud), Jake Nightingale .


Sortie : 12/02/2003
De : Antoine de Caunes
Avec : Philippe Torreton,Roschdy Zem,Elsa Zylberstein,Keira Knightley,Bruno Putzulu,Richard E. Grant,Stéphane Freiss,Jay Rodan,Jake Nightingale,Frédéric Pierrot,Siobhan Hewlett,Kate Duchene,Richard Heffer

Comment Napoléon, l'homme de toutes les batailles, le génial stratège politique et militaire, peut-il accepter de se soumettre à cet emprisonnement en plein air, en pleine mer ? Quel système de défense – donc d'attaque - imagine-t-il mettre en oeuvre pour desserrer l¹emprise de ses geôliers ?

C'est à Sainte-Hélène, cette île hors d'atteinte choisie par ses ennemis, qu'il va livrer une mystérieuse bataille, la dernière mais la plus importante, celle que l'Histoire n¹a encore jamais révélée...

Monsieur N. : avis de consommateurs, comparateur de prix et achat en ligne
Accueil » Loisirs & Media » Films » Cinéma » A l´affiche » Monsieur N. » Avis consommateur  Envoyez cette page
Et l'histoire laisse place à l'imagination...
Avis de ptiteangie sur Monsieur N. du 12.02.2003
Evaluation de ptiteangie sur Monsieur N.
Acteurs / Actrices 
Mise en scène 
  » Rédigez un avis
  » Imprimez cet avis
  » Commentez cet avis
sponsor:  Un crédit de 2 000 a 20 000 ¥ sans frais de dossier

Avantages:  une évasion instructive
Inconvénients:  aucuns
 bonjour à tous,

La semaine dernière, je me suis rendue à l'avant-première de Monsieur N., le nouveau film d'Antoine de Caunes en présence d'Antoine de Caunes et de Philippe Torreton (l'acteur qui incarne Monsieur N.)

La distribution

Philippe Torreton
Roschdy Zem
Elsa Zylberstein
Keira Knightley
Bruno Putzulu
Richard E. Grant
Stéphane Freiss
Jay Rodan
Jake Nightingale
Frédéric Pierrot
Siobhan Hewlett
Kate Duchene
Richard Heffer

Les réalisateurs : René Manzor et Antoine de Caunes

Le synopsis officiel

Comment Napoléon, ce génial stratège politique et militaire, peut-il accepter d'être emprisonné sur l'île de Sainte-Hélène ? Comment imagine-t-il pouvoir échapper à ses geôliers ? Sur cette île hors d'atteinte choisie par ses ennemis, Monsieur N. va livrer une bataille que l'Histoire n'a jamais revelée.

Le film
Le film ne rattrace aucunement toute la vie de Napoléon mais il s'attache uniquement à la période correspondant à son exil à Sainte-Hélène sous la garde des anglais. En insistant particulièrement sur les 2 dernières années de la vie de l'empereur.

Aprés avoir gagner tant de batailles, on rentre dans la vie d'un homme emprisonné qui doit malgré tout essayer de garder un minimum d'honneur. Cette tranche de l'histoire française prend toute son importance d'autant plus que de nombreux mystères l'entourent.

Mon avis

Ce film romanesque qui n'a pas de but historique m'a beaucoup plus. En effet, le mélange de VF et de VO (pour les dialogues des anglais) est trés réussi et nous permet encore plus de rentrer dans l'histoire et de pouvoir mieux se rendre compte du contexte et de l'atmosphère du lieu.
Philippe Torreton est un magnifique Napoléon à dimension humaine.
L'imagination prend une part importante. En effet, chacun est aprés libre d'interpreter ce film comme il le souhaite, j'ai apprecié le fait que l'on nous donne pas une fin qui ne permet aucunement d'imaginer une suite ou une réponse à notre convenance.
Cependant, les nombreux come-back dans l'histoire et dans le temps sont un peu durs à suivre au début. Mais ceux-ci renforcent le déroulement du film et deviennent trés vite indispensables

La présence du réalisateur et de l'acteur principal
Ce que j'aime dans les avants-première, c'est qu'on peut par le dialogue reccueillir les motivations des acteurs et réalisateurs.
Ainsi Antoine de Caunes nous a confié que son but n'était historique mais plutôt romanesque.

Je vous conseille vivement ce film qui sort le 12 février (aujourd'hui ! )
Pour information le film dure environ 2 heure

[Home] [Assembly/News Section] [History  - Who is who?] [Potionlab] [Arts Class - Fanart] [Myths and Legends - Ep Guide] [Lunchbreak - Message Board] [ Library - Fanfics and Books] [Chanting - Song Lyrics] [Spells] [Sorcery Studies - Guestbook] [Cat-Training] [Language Skills] [Broomstick-Practice]