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Category: Recording

  1. What is it like to be a bilingual VoiceOver artist?

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    Hola y hello, it is me, aqui estoy, Lorraine locutora y voice over artist at your service. Yes, I am a bilingual voiceover artist and I work in both Spanish and English. But there is more to this voice story than that. The hardest question people ask me on a regular basis is "Where are you from?" Simples to answer you would think but actually I always have to double and triple check as to what the person asking the question means. You see, I am British because I was born in the UK but then my parents are actually from Chile and I grew up until I went to school mostly speaking Latin American Spanish with my family and friends. Then I've lived in all sorts of places including Spain, France and Indonesia. I know, I get around a bit right?!

    Recording Studio

    What challenges does a bilingual voice over artist face?

    I have voiced many an audio project that requires me to either speak solely in Spanish, English or a mezcla or mix of these languages in terms of accents or words. So I can end up with projects that require multiple voices. And not just those in my head! But the challenges for me as a female bilingual vocal artist can be varied. Let's take a look at a few;

     

    1. Mouth placement - switching between languages means that your mouth shape has to change. Wait, what? Yes, this is true. To get the sounds of the consanants and vowels that make an "English" or "Spanish" sounding...er...sound...means that I have to change my mouth and where I place my tongue in relation to the soft palate and teeth. To be a good voice over and give it my best daily I switch between languages both hearing and talking so that I can muscle memory recall the shapes to makes the sounds of the words. 

    2. Rhythm - every language has it's own melody and rhythm and so there is a mental switch I had to do (which is code switching as well as trans-languaging) that takes place so that I can find the spirit and intention behind each lnaguage. You see to speak a language is more than learning the words and speaking them out loud. It's knowing and wearing like a coat the melody of the culture, the people. The process of osmosis to learn a language is more than just how to order a drink at the bar, it's knowing the song that goes with that language. 

    3. Word count - after working for almost 20 years in creative production I know that Spanish text is almost 30% longer than the equivalent voiceover copy in English. This is something I make known to every client so they appreciate that I will have to often talk very speedily in Spanish to match the English lanaguage time codes. The same applies to all languages so always check word counts as it does make a difference. 

    Lorraine Ansell voice over actor

    But these challenges and ability to continually switch between them is why I love my voice over job, it's a performance, it's a mental work out and it is brilliant. 

    Es tiempo para hablar,

    xx

  2. My top vocal care tips for VoiceOver

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    Your voice is unique and amazing. It really is. It is a tool, an instrument and a way to communicate with others. And like any other instrument care needs to be applied. But what sort of care do voiceover artists need to be mindful of? Well check out my top 5 vocal care tips.

    Lorraine Ansell voice actor with Cans in the studio

    Top Five Voiceover Tips

    Chatting away all day in the booth can be exhausting and I like to prepare by having a good sleep, good diet and good fun. But let's get down to it. These are my top five tips for caring for your voice. 

    1. Exercise - both generally corporally and then specifically your mouth, larynx and tongue. Exercising is a great way to keep in over all good shape and mental health which is why I dance, do cardio and strength classes and do daily mouth warm ups with my SOVT straw. 

    2. Practise - yes practise makes perfect. So whether it is an accent for an anime character or a song for an audition, make your training count and work towards your goal. It does take practise and effort and time.

    3. Hydrate - talking is hard, thirsty work and spending hours in the booth or not means you will expel water vapour. Your layrnx like your monstera plant loves to keep moisture and regulate itself so keep drinking, eating lush food and enjoy your water!

    4. Research - take the time to find out about what you and your voice can do and can't do. Take time to know what you like to do and want to do. There are over 20 genres of voiceover so which ones do you want to work on. Read, talk, ask questions to find out. 

    5. Be your best - simple as. Whether it is an audition, a chat, an email, a job in the recording studio, simply be your best. And remember that we are human and not machines so some days we will be smashing it all over the place and others, we'll be in bed watching TV. Both are fine, we need both to be who we are. 

    Lorraine Ansell goes live in the booth

    What skills do I need for voiceover work?

    There are lots from acting to knowing how to edit audio. These can all be learnt from courses online or asking others for help and resources. But voice work is more than skill and talent. Being a voice actor is knowing yourself, knowing your capbilities, knowing your own voice and work. By knowing this, you know who you are and how unique your are. 

    And always remember to make it fun, voice jobs are great when you make that mind set change. 

    Keep chatting,

    xx

  3. How can I be cast in a video game

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    I spent the last few weeks of 2020 playing Alba - a great fun mobile game which has conservation and nature at it's heart. The graphics and landscape is great, the audio and music is spot on and the game play is like a warm hug. And in these times of lockdown even a small chance of entertainment and love is very welcome. I thought about what many actors think when they play such videogames; how can I voice a character in this game?

    What do I need to voice a character in a videogame?

    The quick and simple answer is to act. Voicing a videogame character is a great gig because as the games are much more narratively driven than 30 years ago, it really is an acting job. Now videogames are much more complex with wonderful connecting and overlapping story lines that require the actor to immerse themselves into the roles. Why? Because the player is also immersed and now savvy and used to authentic characters that now require believable voice work. So first in your vocal tool box is to know how to interpret a character, make a choice, decide an accent/intention/motivation and deliver the lines. 

    Lorraine Ansell Voice Actor, director, sound engineer

    What voice over demo reels do I need for videogames?

    Traditionally there were only really two types of voice acting demo reels. The commercial and narrative reels. These were mostly for the advertising and more documentary or audio drama styles of voice acting work. However over the last two decades there are a plethora of reels for the many variations of voice acting work which now exist. At some point I will do an a-z of voice acting genres. So now the videogame industry market size was estimated to be worth $60.4 billion in 2020. This presents all actors with a wealth of acting opportunities from motion capture, face capture and voice acting. I am very much waiting for the day to be cast in a dance game for mo-cap and for a wonderfully lyrical narrative game for voice work.  

    Should you feel that voiceover work in the videogame industry is for you then consider getting a reel done that reflects a combination of acting not just voicing styles. There are all types of games for all types of audiences so what style of acting and voice work would you like to do? My voice range and acting is very much young adult, female led character work that has charm, a wink and a giggle so I tailor my reels for that character work. 

     

    What else does my game voice demo reel need?

    Ensure that you add character work but also emotes. What are emotes? These are simply noises and sounds that your character would make when running, jumping or performing any actions in a video game. So when your character swings an axe or jumps on a horse, what sound would they make. An effort sound of putting the body into that position. 

     

    How do I get cast in a video game?

    Many voice and acting agents get a lot of the AAA games industry casting sides. I've worked on many video games this way from my own recording home studio over the past few years but there are other ways. Many sound studios also hold voice lists and will send out casting specifications to these lists. Or you can have your details up on Spotlight as well as your reels. Maybe interact truthfully with game developers and/or casting directors. Unique to you is your marketing plan so think about who you are and how best you can find voice work in this area. 

    LLD Paradise Killer Voice actor Lorraine Ansell

    How to cast me in a videogame?

    My reels are available and I have a page on the most recent work in the videogames industry I have worked on here for you to see. I've recently had fun working on a game that was first on Itch.io in 2021 and then went to Steam in Feburary 2021. This is fast fast work for a game release as they usually can take upwards of 2 or 3 years to ship to market. This game is called Only Cans and is a really fun game.  And I play Lady Love Dies in Paradise Killer which is a multiple award winning video game that came out in 2020.

     

    Please do get in touch when you need some vocal magic for your video game,

    Keep acting,

    xx

     

  4. A Day in the life of a successful Voiceover Artist

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    Lots of people ask me what I get up to day-to-day in my voiceover business. I love this vocal world so much because every day is different and I love that routine of non-routine. This flow of creative work was something I realised would be more satisfying to me than the more usual office based roles out there. But what exactly does my day look like? Let's have a peek.

    What do I do daily as a Voice over artist? 

    The freedom I have in this job is such a benefit. But the overall routine is usually checking in every morning with each audio project. I check to see what voice jobs are on that day, if I have the scripts, if I have all the information for directing or speaking and if the session is live or not. This helps me space out the day so that I can fit other activities in that help my voice. 

    Recording do not enter light

    Vocal Exercises

    I tend to spend time when not in the booth recording for clients, working on vocal areas. I do this to ensure that I keep articulating and keep msucles warm and ready. I do this to check in with my voice to see how each day is. We as humans are human and are not machines so every day my voice will sound different to me as I work each aspect. Sometimes I work on pressure regulating on the larynx or at times I relax the whole body so that my voice box also relaxes. I do tongue exercises or even body streches to ensure the whole of me is working in tip top shape. 

    Breathing Exercises

    I also spend time doing breathing exercises which are so beneficial. They make me feel more mindful and less anxious and also help for training my breath release for long sentances and paragraphs especially for all sorts of copy I read. When faced with long structured sentances a good knowledge of where to breathe and where not to breathe is very useful. This is especially true for the flow of the words as it is for editing the audio afterwards in post production. Sometimes I train with my SOVT straw which is a great way to help strengthen my voice and work hard so I am ready for when a job comes in. 

    General voice over admin

    I also check in with clients. I love working with clients that are both creative and collaborative and that inspire me in some way. So whether it be a videogame that I get to work with the game devs on the world and general narrative constructs or on corporate videos to push a service or product it brings me a lot of personal and professional satisfaction to voice these projects. This month I voiced a video for the RSPCA and we ended up talking about how our cats are queens of the house. My clients joked that their cats "have the house deeds in their name!" ;) 

     

    Disney voiceover Lorraine Ansell animation

    End of day voice 

    I check in at the end of the day with my voice and ensure that I have drunk enough water and hydrated with fresh fruit and veggies. I do a few relaxing raspberries so that I let my muscles and voice chill out a bit. Then a bit of a snooze and start the fun again the next day! Contact me when you need a voice for your next audio production. 

    Keep chatting!

    xx

     

  5. Top 2020 Voiceover Trends

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    Let's face it, 2020 has been that buzz on the voiceover sound chain that well, none of us could figure out the source. As with every year there have been positives though very much coated so densly that it has been a struggle to unearth them all. For this final post of the year, I'm going to take a look at a few voiceover trends that I saw and what I hope for next year. 

    Lorraine Ansell-in a recording studio

    How did VoiceOver change in 2020? 

    I remember how we all worried about the Millenium bug about 20 years ago and how that would affect everything from banking systems to university records. This year however it was an all together different bug we all worried about. There have been many facets this year and we have all faced them with (insert your most used emotion here). Times have been hard for many industries and in particular for the creative arts. My heart has broken many times as shows either in theatres or TV have been cancelled or postponed. This year really hit hard. Many friends and colleagues lost jobs, lost survival jobs. A show I was invovled in was postponed and we hope that the show will go back on. While I could spend hours commenting on many aspects of the year instead I am going to concentrate on how I saw the voiceover world ebb and flow in the current of COVID-19. 

     

    The voiceover first quarter was strong 

    In the first quarter, voice over trends seemed to be following the usual pattern. Back to work and projects with industries working with their creative agencies to push forward. So far, so normal. Productions had a normal pace to them maybe even a slight swagger as we carried on as usual. I found that bookings were the same and projects and productions with longer outlooks still looked good. Voices that were popular including youthful urban voices full of millenial promise. I particularly like the cadence and musicality of this voice and that almost throw away ending of sentances. 

     

    "We'll get back to you in a few weeks"

     That was the first real inkling of change. The emails and phonecalls were starting to sound familiar with this phrase and then....Then we all went into lockdown and that was when the emails, phones, messages stopped. It was quieter than a long pause in the voiceover recording booth waiting on direction and notes, nervously looking at their copy. 

    Here while clients went quiet and we all scratched our heads a bit, actors and creatives went into pre-production overdrive. Many of them turned to the jolly art that is voiceover work in hopes of getting work. I took many calls from voices (new and old) looking for advice, reassurance and maybe a bit of a hug. At that point all from afar. 

    Are there any voices out there?

    And then, slowly the tide turned. Clients sprung back to life as we realised this was no "two week" or "month long" break. This was now our, (pausing for dramatic effect), the new normal in unprecedented times. Yes, many of us have repeated that phrase a few times in the home studio. And now, the voices chosen were for more public announcements and they were usually male, older, with a strong air of authority. Taking their cue from Mark Strong's vocal gravitas, adverts became more about staying safe than playing. So in the UK marketplace, campaigns in times of crisis seem to go for this character of voice. 

    Christmas at sea

    As the summer crept by, work picked up and those shelved projects were dusted off and off we went again. I found myself with a few jobs coming in, truthfully far less than the usual jobs at this time of year but still grateful that my clients were still trading. And as we heading to Christmas, jobs and copy while tinged with a safe messaging were more upbeat. The "family" of voices came into play much more with diversity being key and with advert copy trying to bring hope into things. The usual Christmas adverts focused on family and the voices I heard were wonderfully diverse. This mix I feel, will continue well into 2021. 

     

    Me in the booth with microphone

    2021 voice over artist hopes

    My personal wish is that our wonderful creative industry picks up and runs with it (all from our home studios of course). Or even from a studio further afield once tier levels even out. I hope to direct more voiceover projects, ensuring copy is tight and delivered well. As ever the e-learning trends remain strong simply because more people are working from home and zooming in and out of meeting is tiring. Maybe more audio based training will mean less fatigue. I hope that diverse voices remain a key factor. And I hope that more production companies realise that need for audio as a way of connecting us all together when we still remain very much enable to connect physically. 

    I look forward to working with creative clients globally, with dedicated and fun voices and with copy that makes me think about things more. 

    May you all have a better 2021!

    xx

  6. Working from Home (WFH) as a Voiceover Artist

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    Working from Home has been my way of life for over five years and even before that I was already shifting to work more remotely. As a voice actor with my own studio I have managed to keep myself efficiently busy with a good work/life balance routine. 

    Working from home is a mindset and when I first starting to work remotely my biggest worry was how I would deal without interacting physically with people. As a person who identifies with physicality as a main language this was a real concern. However I overcame the challenge by identifying how I could work with that language barrier and thrive. 

    If you are starting to work from home then here are a few tips that have helped me. 

    1. Primary Concerns - ask yourself what those concerns are and spell them out for you
    2. Work mode - do you prefer to get up early and work until lunch or lunch until dinner or late into the night. Figuring out what your work mode is will help.
    3. Self care time - what type of self care do you prefer? A cup of tea, a crossword break, a walk around the block, chatting to a friend. Have a few things in mind for variety.
    4. Structure - now you have a rough list of what work and self needs you have, plot them so you can go through them and figure out a working and life day that works for you.
    5. Change - remember it doesn’t have to work from day 1 so change as you need to. Maybe your work ends up being with clients in a different time zone so you can structure your day differently than when you started out. Be prepared to be flexible at first and try different things out.

     Working from Home as a Voiceover Artist

    Avoid thinking that if you work all the hours in one day you will be more productive. It rarely if ever works like that. A simple coffee break or magazine break allows you to breathe and gather your thoughts. The brain quite likes to mull over challenges but a distraction usually enables it to reach an answer. 

     

    In my week, I map out work tasks that I want to complete as well as life tasks that need to be included. I also slot in self care activities and I take care to do these because every time I think about skipping them in fact I feel worse and less creative than when I end up doing them. My dance family are really important to me and as a voice actor where you internalise all the physicality of the roles, it means I can release all that vitalness safely and into something also very creative and rewarding on many levels. I enjoy chatting with friends over a coffee even if its online. A read of a chapter of a book or a set time playing a video game also allows for some down time. Always get up, prepare for “going to work” and that mindset helps structure the day. 

    Whatever system you find that works for you when you work from home, go for it. Just remember, when the conference calls happen, remember to wear clothes!

  7. How to you voice to a Millennial Audience?

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    “I like it. Kinda. Usually!” This is the phrase that captures the essence of attracting the millennial ear. It is one that I am hearing more and more these days. This new trend is appearing in all sorts of audio productions but mainly in commercials and corporate voiceover productions. Voiceovers by their very nature are no stranger to trends and over the decades we have seen the move from big bold advertising announcements proclaiming the benefits of a brand, product and service to the witty/sassy mood of the nineties to the sharpness of the naughties and finally now to a distracted, yeah whatever type trend. This new trend is what the most amazing Nancy Wolfson has dubbed the “Millennial Float” 

    Lorraine Ansell Voice over Artist

    Over the past year and certainly in the past month I have been in many sessions where the end client has sought something less “sales-y” – it is hard at times to decipher what clients want but suffice to say that by sales-y they are usually not wanting to impress the sales patter tone onto the audience. It also means they don’t want an announcer style voice. Now we have long been used to offering an authentic voice and the melodies and volumes that go along with that.

    Millenial Voice Trends

    However the trend seems to be a call for a voice that is quite flat, with little or no colour and rather “meh”. It also calls for a slight vocal fry to add to the laid back nature of this voice. I am unsure as to where it first started to trend but I am finding more and more clients asking for this laid back approach to voicing. Voiceover follows the trends and I am inferring that this is what clients feel that their target audiences (usually the young that have access to disposable income) are speaking and so identify with. i.e. the millennials – the terms refers to people born between 1981 – 1996.

     A great voice actor is one that can appreciate a change in trend and voice what the client is after. Changing the intention is certainly a challenge and I have found it hard work. Why is this? After decades of studying and working, voicing with a bright pleasant and welcoming intention it becomes somehow ingrained and the norm. Now all this has to be unlearnt and the performance must reflect what is happening in the real world. The trend is to be up, but pensive and then well if you want style to it and so I am sure we will find this approach in many audio productions and voiceover recordings as we head towards 2020 and beyond.

    Voice recording in progress

  8. The Power of Voice Narration

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    The Power of Voice Narration

    There are many elements that go into creating outstanding video content: captivating visuals, compelling characters, creative scripts and a strong sense of place, to name just a few. But one essential component that is often overlooked is the narration.

    A voiceover has the power to drastically change and improve any visual content, be that films, commercials, video games or audio books. We as humans have long been enticed by oral storytelling, and not just because its easier to listen, but because the voice brings so much more to the story.  Here’s how voice narration has the ability to enhance your video content.

    Giving your video credibility

    In today’s tech-savvy society we are constantly listening to voice overs, whether that’s on the radio, in films, advertisements, televised sports, or documentary films. As the audience, we have developed a sense of trust when we here narration, and we’ve even come to anticipate it when we’re watching visual content.

    The voice we hear not only creates trust, but it also has the ability to encourage action from the audience.  Think about televised charity appeals for instance. The striking visuals captivate our attention, but it is the voice over, often a famous actor, who humanises what we are witnessing and encourages us to take action. The same can be said for insurance sales campaigns or marketing ads. It is the human voice that sets the message and compels us to sign up or buy a product.  

    Clear, concise and to the point

    Sometimes it can be hard to convey entire details of the subject matter just through the visuals—if filmmakers tried, the video would be too long. But by utilising a voice over, a long message can be portrayed using only a few key visuals.  A narrative voice fills conceptual gaps and allows you to explain details that may be harder to express visually. And when you get the voice over to match the concept perfectly, it can even reinforce an idea you’ve illustrated and give it more power.

    Improving your brand through a voice

    A recognisable voice has the power to catch the audience’s attention.  The tone of voice, its cadences, and that precise timing all lend to give your video a personality. Whether you’re trying to give your brand an upbeat, familiar and friendly element, or a professional and reliable quality, the right voiceover can also make your audience feel spoken to and represented.

    Expanding your audience

    Professional voiceovers can help to localise your content to fit in with your marketing strategies. Whether you use videos for entertaining your audiences or for marketing campaigns, it is a good idea to pass the language barrier and reach larger audiences. This may also apply for audiobooks and podcasts.

    But localising content means going beyond a simple translation of the script.  It must be adapted to keep the correct meaning but so that it also recognises cultural norms.

    The right voiceover who has the correct tone and accent has the ability to conquer audiences. Plus a professional will not only record the content themselves but more often that not they will be able to take care of the editing and translation too. This is where it pays to use professional voice-overs.

    Do’s and Don’ts when hiring a professional voice over

    DON’T forget to listen to voice reels

    An experienced VO should be able to send you example reels. It can be good to see if their previous work matches with your target demographic- that way you know you’re on the right lines and the voice could work well with your brand.

    DON’T disregard the female voice

    It is often said that a female voice can target a wider audience.  A study in the Journal of Advertising looking at the effects of male and female voices in ads, found that although the voice over gender didn’t matter for male-oriented or neutral products, the gender did matter for female oriented products. That means, that a female voice can be effective for male-associated products, but a male voice is rarely suitable for those targeting a female audience.

    DO think about longevity

    When you’re making your selection think about choosing a voice over who can represent your brand in the long run. Chopping and changing the voice over for each new video makes your brand incoherent, so perhaps choose a VO talent that is versatile to suit your future projects. 

    Do test with your target audience

    Once you have made a pre-selection and have the demo reels, it can be a good idea to see how the voice resonates with your audience. If your target market is females aged 25-50 then a voice that fits this description is likely to have the most credibility.

  9. Saving our Sounds

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    the-british-library

    Have you ever wondered what happens to old audio formats? As technology moves forward and changes how we experience our lives spare a thought to technology of yesteryear. I have been lucky to visit the Sound Archives at the British Library and had the pleasure of listening to old radio broadcasts. It was as if I were there living in the memories of another time and place. There are old radio catalogues and equipment dotted around the place as well as the odd royal speech. Set up in 1955 the archive today boasts about 60 thousand hours of audio.

    Delving into the audio past is such a privilege especially as the sound archives are working hard to keep all audio alive for future generations. In a labyrinthine palace, racks filled with white jackets, inside them the hidden treasures from Radio 1. Over there, turning to another shelf, every news script from the BBC. We pulled out an archive and were read an extract of the news a month before the declaration of World War 2. Chilling yet compelling reading of the transcripts of seemingly innocuous everyday news bulletins.

    As we wondered around the shelves, racks and racks of tapes, we were overwhelmed by the size of the collection. Most are on ¼ inch tape as well as BETA Max. The BBC transcripts were originally on hard copy and then began to be put onto microfilm. We padded through the bright white corridors mostly in silence until we couldn’t contain our excitement and effervescently babbled away. Where, what, who, when and how – we wanted to know, everything. We trailed underneath an automated book system that looked like it had come from Heathrow’s terminal 5. Instead of suitcases, books and journals, clattered around our heads rising from the depths to the reading rooms. We delved further into the archives beneath. What would we find and how have they ended up here?

    The early BBC Radio content is contained on acetates and also pressed shellac discs. Down in the sound strong rooms are a lot of audio down there is stored on VHS. By a lot I mean corridors, rooms, floor to ceiling shelves, crates, boxes and enough box sets to keep you busy until….well a rather long time! The VHS tapes all standing to attention patiently waiting to be taken out and played. Anyone else have to scramble to change over the tape while recording?! Thought so! A whole project is underway to get this all digitised, a daunting task but one much needed. Especially since old technology is rapidly giving way to the new. However we walked past many an old technology tape deck. The corridors are littered with machines, patiently awaiting their turn, like a long lost friend, to be turned on again, to hum away happily.

    As we walked down on aisle we found all the entries and audio as well as the entry forms for the Sony Awards from season 2 onwards. And close by The famed AWE Perkins collection. A Vicar whose hobby was to record on a fenograph any and all random audio that he took a fancy to from about 1950/51.

    While tape seemed to have weathered many a storm, many rather well, the acetates are crumbling and cracking steadily. The lacquer is shrinking, pulling the tape away from itself, a confetti of brown in tins. What broadcast beauties would be lost? We may never know!

    What has survived rather well and also stored away neatly are the original metal discs. Heavy plates of solid stuff surviving through decades. A couple of those would need a trolley to wheel them out with! One is held up, almost like an Olympian with a winning discus. It is, the first every original broadcast copy. An amazing sight, the Kings Speech, solid and sturdy. A blast from the past.

    The team that work on maintaining this audio history are working on Save Our Sounds. The aim is to catalogue and digitise culturally interesting audio material. A gargantuan task and if you have any old audio please get in touch with the Sound Archive team at the British Library. They would welcome your audio.

  10. Top 6 UK Audio Dramas to be checked out in 2018

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    UK audio dramas 2018

    In recent years I’ve found myself becoming increasingly more excited by the resurgence of audio dramaI am a voice over artist after all!  Far from old-time radio dramas or those tired story tapes we had as children, this modern, on-the-go entertainment offers well produced, expertly acted, and downright addictive stories from the classic to the contemporary.

    Last year I played the part of Maria Thorpe in Audible Original Drama Northanger Abbey alongside the brilliantly talented Emma Thompson, Lily Cole and Eleanor Tomlinson. It was a wonderfully creative experience putting a new spin on an old classic, and only heightened my excitement for the future of audio dramas.

    Northanger-abbey-image

    Available to download and listen to almost instantly, audio dramas represent all flavours of fiction. What’s great is the infinite possibilities of the forms stories can take in this medium, particularly as the audio drama movement is only just beginning.

    If you are yet to get stuck into these fiction podcasts, here are a few of the top UK audio dramas I recommend you check out this year.

    1.    Black Eyed Girls—Katie Hims

    Winning BBC’s Best Audio Drama Series 2018, Katie Hims’ audio drama Black Eyed Girls is a beautifully touching, emotional story. This poignant drama follows the lives of separated twins who spend over 60 years searching for each other.  One of radios most cherished writers, Katie Hims has created yet another breath-taking script which has been accompanied with wonderful acting.

     2.    The Sky is Wider—Linda Marshall Griffiths

    Winner of the prestigious Best Single Drama award at the 2017 BBC Audio Drama Awards, The Sky is Wider explores the neurology and ethics surrounding the treatment of a patient with minimal consciousness.  Written by Linda Marshall Griffiths, it was developed in consultation with Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience, Anil Seth, to create a very current, stimulating and deeply moving radio play.

    dan-dare-the-audio-adventures-image

     3.    Dan Dare: The Audio Adventures— Andrew Sewell, B7 Media

    If you’re looking for a truly exciting series of sci-fi adventure then you just have to check out the adventures of Dan Dare. Under the expert direction of Andrew Sewell, this audio drama series shapes and transforms the original stories of this heroic action figure by bringing together a sensational script, an all-round electric cast (most notably Ed Stoppard as Dare, Heida Reed as Peabody and Geoff McGivern as Digby) and fabulous music (by Imram Ahmad) to deliver pure audio greatness.

     4.    Neverwhere—Neil Gaiman, adapted by Dirk Maggs

    Ok, so this adaptation may be a few years old now, but if you’re new to audio dramas it is a great story to start you off.  Neverwhere is a six-part dramatisation of Neil Gaiman’s best-selling novel, which follows the story of protagonist Richard Mayhew on a journey through ‘London Below’, a bizarre, and much more dangerous version of the real London we all know on the surface. Featuring an all-star cast including James McAvoy, Natalie Dormer, and Benedict Cumberbatch, this is not to be missed.

     5.    Midnight’s Children—Salman Rushdie, adapted by Ayeesha Menon

    Heralded as ‘radio drama of the year’, this is a fantastic serialisation of Salman Rushdie’s 1981 best-selling novel Midnight’s Children. The story follows the life of Saleem Sinai who was born on the stroke of midnight the day his subcontinent was partitioned by religion into India and Pakistan. Ayeesha Menon has created a dazzling dramatization of this realist masterpiece with a superb cast.

     6.    Life Lines—Al Smith

    This tense drama goes behind the scenes of an ambulance control centre where we’re introduced to ambulance call handler Carrie. Each time the phone rings it’s a matter of life or death. A truly gripping series, Life Lines conveys the story through a magnificent script and a cast that really captures the enormity of each phone call.