A few days ago we went back to the recording studio (which had more or less recovered from Brian Blessed’s performance, although some of the microphones may never be the same again!) to record Alison Steadman as the voice of the narrator and Gran in The Fearsome Beastie.
(This was particularly exciting for me, as I happen to be a massive Pride and Prejudice fan, and Alison’s performance as Mrs Bennet in the 1995 BBC adaptation was instrumental in beginning that obsession.)
The narrator is a vital role for this film, as she speaks about 90% of the words and carries the story and the poem. We were looking for a voice that children would enjoy being told a story by, but also a voice that sounds as though it’s getting pleasure out of telling this scary story and enjoying watching the children’s frightened reactions. The warmth of Alison’s voice, in addition to the humour and darkness that she can bring to a performance made her an obvious choice for the part.
Alison was incredibly professional throughout, and was able to give us take after take with minutely different directions. It is always impressive to hear the control that professional actors have over their voices and the subtlety of performance that they can give.