Fenella Fielding

Female, Region categories : Neutral English, RP

Seductive, Recognisable, Dramatic, Rich

The name Fenella Fielding is synonymous with wit, glamour and sophistication, whilst her uniquely seductive vocal skills make hers one of the most instantly recognisable voices in show business.

Popular in the 1950s and 1960s, Fenella Fielding is England’s “First Lady of the double entendre”. Known for her distinctively husky voice, seductive image and appearances in Carry on Regardless in 1961 and Carry on Screaming! in 1966.

Fenella’s first important theatre role was Lady Parvula De Panzoust in Sandy Wilson’s legendary Firbank musical ‘Valmouth’, followed by ‘Pieces of Eight’, a long-running West End revue co-starring Kenneth Williams. Since then, a wide variety of parts include Marion in ‘Absurd Person Singular’, Hedda in Hedda Gabler’, Jane in ‘Fallen Angels’, Nora in ‘A Doll’s House’, Berinthia in ‘The Relapse’ (modern dress), Laverta in ‘The Old Man’s Comforts’, Lydia and Mrs. Malaprop in ‘The Rivals’, The Bawd in ‘Perciles’, Nancy Mitford in ‘Dearest Nancy, Darling Evelyn, Wallis Simpson in ‘A Dangerous Woman’, and the title role of ‘Colette’ in New York. Three seasons at Chichester Festival include the 1980s revival of ‘Valmouth’ playing her original role.  Appearances at Edinburgh International Festival include revues, Sandy Wilson’s ‘See You Later’, Steven Vinaver’s ‘Five Plus One’ (which transferred to London retitled ‘Twists’), her own theatre-cabaret ‘Fielding Convertible’ (transferred to the Lyric, Hammersmith retitled ‘Fielding on Broadway’, W6), her own anthology programme ‘A Personal Choice’, a double-bill of solo plays ‘Inside Stories’ (transferred to Kings Head, London).  More recently, she has toured to great success in Eve Ensler’s ‘The Vagina Monologues’, and as Lady Markby in Peter Hall’s production of ‘An Ideal Husband’, and played both Bette Bourne and Mark Ravenhill in ‘A Life in Three Acts’ at Soho Theatre.

Performances with music include Prince Orlofsky in ‘Die Fledermaus’ for Carl Rosa Opera: ‘The Miraculous Mandarin’ and ‘The Damnation of Faust’, both for BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall: ‘Facade’ with the Nash Ensemble and many others, innumerable Chaucer Festivals and recitals at many venues including Westminster Abbey. She was recieter and chanteuse in Matthew Hawkins’ ballet ‘Fresh Dances For The Late Tchiakowsky’, and Madame Pfeil, the non-singing actress in Mozart’s ‘Der Schauspieldirektor’ in scenes specially written for her by Perry Pontac.

Television includes the Feydeau farce series ‘Ooh-La-La!’, Cleopatra in ‘The Ides of March’, Marcella in ‘The Autograph’, The Vixen in the ‘Uncle Jack’ series, ‘Dean Martin and The Gold-Diggers’ (American sketch series), three guest star appearances on ‘The Morecambe and Wise Show’, ‘The Good Old Days’, ‘That Was The Week That Was’, ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’, etc.

Films include ‘Carry On Screaming’, Carry On Regardless’, several ‘Doctor’ films, ‘Drop Dead Darling’ with Tony Curtis, Berinthia in ‘Lock Up Your Daughters’ with Christopher Plummer, Maid Marian in ‘Robin Hood’ with George Segal, Mrs. Foxfur in Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson’s ‘Guest House Paradiso’, Her Ladyship in ‘Tincture Of Vervain’, and Eve in ‘Wishbaby’.

Fenella has recorded several talking books, including T.S. Elliott’s ‘The Four Quartets’, and innumerable radio credits, most recently Mrs. Skewton in Dickens’ Dombey and Son for Radio 4.

In June 2008, Fenella was delighted to be featured on a postage stamp issued to celebrate the ‘Carry On’ film series, and to be invited by Royal Mail to launch the stamp’s issue.

Copyright: Google Images

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