Sean Connolly :: Actor & Voice Artist

Sean Connolly :: Actor & Voice Artist

Friday, 16 November 2018

Infographic showing another EXCELLENT YEAR for Actor & Voice Artist SEAN CONNOLLY's News Blog ...

An NEW infographic displaying the world wide reach of Actor & Voice Artist SEAN CONNOLLY's News Blog ...
I am heartened to see that my NEWS BLOG is still performing well since the high of January this year - when it experienced the 'SHAUN THE SHEEP EFFECT!', when both 'SHAUN THE SHEEP - THE MOVIE' received its UK TV Premiere and 'SHAUN THE SHEEP - THE FARMER'S LLAMAS' got yet another festive repeat. From January's high of a 1000 VIEWS PER MONTH through to today my NEWS BLOG has sustained it's very healthy 600 VIEWS PER MONTH on average. 

As you'd probably expect the UK is still streaks ahead of the rest of the world! Interestingly from January to today Russia has just edged in front of the USA with the other top nations maintaining their positions. The REST OF THE WORLD still surprises with views across Japan, India, Netherlands, Belarus and a very mysterious zone known (according to the Blogger analytics) as the UNKNOWN REGION!!

Again I don't really know how to interpret these figures, I suppose what is does show is that peeps from literally all around the world are still clicking through to my News Blog and have hopefully read something of interest (or not!)?! Now how to crack China??!!

Acting website at www.seanconnolly.co.uk
Voice website at www.seanconnollyvoices.com

Again a massive thank you to everyone who has clicked through since I started my News Blog ... See you soon ;o)

Sunday, 11 November 2018

BBC Radio Drama family REUNITED as the extraordinary WW1 Drama Serial 'HOME FRONT' comes to an end ...

SEAN CONNOLLY, LUCY HUTCHINSON and BELLA HAMBLIN aka The Moore family in the BBC Radio Drama serial 'HOME FRONT' are reunited ...

It was a very special evening for myself and my actress wife BELLA HAMBLIN last night as the BBC's First World War radio drama serials 'HOME FRONT' and 'TOMMIES' came to an end ... It was of course an entirely appropriate time to celebrate the achievements of both dramas as it fell on the eve of Remembrance Sunday and the centenary of the Armistice.

It was lovely to celebrate our part in the FOUR YEAR SPANNING drama 'HOME FRONT' playing Folkestone Bakers, husband and wife ERNIE & HILDA MOORE (played by my REAL WIFE - BELLA HAMBLIN) with our lovely daughter JESSIE played by LUCY HUTCHINSON and catch up with the many people we had worked with in that time. Lucy will probably hate me for sharing this but have a look below for a picture of us all in the first year of the show back in 2014!
BELLA HAMBLIN, LUCY HUTCHINSON and SEAN CONNOLLY - The Moore Family during recording on the first season of the BBC Radio serial 'HOME FRONT' ...

The setting for the celebration was the BBC's BROADCASTING HOUSE in a VERY WET London ... Moving speeches of thanks and appreciation about both 'HOME FRONT' and 'TOMMIES' mixed in with a smattering of poetry and song, made for a rather splendid evening! Re-acquainting ourselves with friends and colleagues was a real treat, including meeting up with one of my 'ARCHERS' sisters, actress and voice artist SUSIE RIDDELL (see below), who also appeared in 'HOME FRONT' ... So I had the pleasure of being with my 'HOME FRONT' radio wife and daughter but also my 'ARCHERS' sister, confused yet??!!
SUSIE RIDDELL, SEAN CONNOLLY and BELLA HAMBLIN, radio family at the BBC ...



Recorded at BBC BIRMINGHAM since 2014, the last ever episode of 'HOME FRONT' was aired yesterday, SATURDAY 10th NOVEMBER. The sprawling, 561 episode drama, transmitted on BBC RADIO 4, was mostly set in three locations in the UK; Folkestone, Tyneside and South Devon. The entire series, overseen by JESSICA DROMGOOLE, will be available to listen to for the next TEN YEARS via the BBC iPlayer here - also check out the new BBC APP - SOUNDS ... It's been special!

Friday, 12 October 2018

To quote Harold Pinter's 'The Caretaker' "What are they doing at Sidcup?" Well at Rose Bruford College there's all sorts!!


Actor and Voice Artist SEAN CONNOLLY with some of the Year 3 BA (Hons) Acting students from ROSE BRUFORD COLLEGE after completing their intensive introduction to radio drama.

I've once again just finished working with 45 talented students from top drama school ROSE BRUFORD COLLEGE exploring the delights and disciplines of working in Radio Drama. 



Over a number of weeks, I listened to a 135 solo pieces spanning writers as diverse as William Shakespeare and Harold Pinter (more on him later!) and worked on 14 separate scenes from playwrights such as Neil Simon, Tom Wells and Simon Stevens.

The students brought a great energy into the recording studio which certainly translated into some very fine performances. It was a great joy directing them in their sessions, they always worked hard, they were attentive, enthusiastic and more than happy to have a play! I was impressed  by how many of them achieved those golden moments in studio, performances that make you say ... "Aha, that's what the scene is all about and that's the essence of their character's story!" I look forward to working with them again later in the year to continue our search for more 'golden' moments!



Oh yes .. what was that about Harold Pinter?! This flagstone quote from Harold Pinter's 'The Caretaker' lies just in front of the main entrance to the college. It's a direct quote from Act One of the play by the character Aston and poses the ultimate question about Sidcup. Rose Bruford College provides one of the possible answers ... 

Friday, 22 June 2018

George Benson LIVE - Gave Me The Night at Birmingham's Symphony Hall June 18th 2018 ....

GEORGE BENSON belting out one of his numerous hit songs at Birmingham's Symphony Hall - June 18th 2018 ...


I had the privilege last Monday, to catch jazz guitarist and disco icon GEORGE BENSON at the stunning SYMPHONY HALL in BIRMINGHAM. A 10-time Grammy award-winning artist, he's recorded 36 albums and released 50 singles and has sold in excess of 10 million records worldwide. At the tender age of 75, assisted by his amazing SIX-PIECE band (more on them later!) he effortlessly rolled back the years going through his not inconsiderable back catalogue.


His set kicked off in great style with his soul classic 'LOVE X LOVE' - that really got the party going!! The audience was a real mix, although I did notice that there weren't too many young people there, hardly surprising I suppose!

The hits kept coming, 'NEVER GIVE UP ON A GOOD THING', 'TURN YOUR LOVE AROUND', the whole of the Symphony Hall was on it's feet! GB's classic tracks were interspersed with some great moments featuring covers of well known songs that were given the 'GEORGE' treatment! After quipping that he had some Irish roots, he embarked on a surprising but beautiful rendition of 'DANNY BOY' on his now legendary Ibanez guitar. The covers also gave the band some further opportunities to shine. Already so impressive a sound for a six-piece, they truly excelled themselves during both a tender re-imagining of Stevie Wonder's 'LATELY' and the late Glen Campbell's 'WICHITA LINEMAN'. The Norah Jones' standard 'DON'T KNOW WHY' was where 4th generation musician and singer in her own right, LILIANNA DE LOS REYES  soaring vocals impressed. No surprise really as she has an excellent musical pedigree being the daughter of drummer extraordinaire WALFREDO REYES JR who has played with the likes of Boz Scaggs, Santanna, Jackson Browne, Traffic and is currently with rock legends Chicago. As we've rather neatly arrived at the band let's give them all a name check; let's start with exuberant drummer KHARI PARKER has worked with the likes Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs (again!), Beyonce and Joss Stone, MICHAEL O'NEILL on guitar and vocals has been working with George Benson since 1981 and has racked up some impressive credits with artists such as Barbara Streisand, Steve Wonder, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Michael McDonald to name but a few, he certainly showed that experience throughout the show and is a very fine singer too! Yet another George Benson collaborator was keyboard and synth player THOM HALL who added many of the essential musical trade mark sounds heard in GB's songs that other members of the band couldn't quite cover. Next up is phenomenal bass player STANLEY BANKS (not Clarke!) who has played on all of GB's studio albums and has been with him for (wait for it!) 42 YEARS!! Last but definitely not least was keyboard and musical director on the tour DAVID GARFIELD who delivered a virtuoso performance and kept the band on point all night. David has worked alongside GB since the mid 80's and has produced over 50 albums and appeared on over a 100 with musicians such as Boz Scaggs (DEFINITELY a pattern developing here!), Smokey Robinson, Michael McDonald and even with Spinal Tap, yes Spinal Tap!! So that's the band covered!
Keyboard player and MD, DAVID GARFIELD, main man GEORGE BENSON feeling the groove with MICHAEL O'NEILL on guitar and vocals at Birmingham's Symphony Hall, June 2018 ...

GB ended up playing for nearly two hours and covered pretty much everything I wanted to hear, the only omission was his wonderful version of NAT 'KING' COLE'S classic 'NATURE BOY', I was REALLY hoping he'd do that one, maybe next time!! Reflecting on the night as a whole, we the audience got into a kind of unplanned rhythm; standing up and dancing away to all the disco hits, then we all sat down for the ballads, funny how we all just ended up doing that, it just seemed the right thing to do! Before he'd finished we'd been treated to 'IN YOUR EYES', 'ON BROADWAY' and of course the seminal 'GIVE ME THE NIGHT'.

Honourable mention must also go to support act, 2-time Grammy Award nominee, acoustic blues singer songwriter ERIC BIBB. I'm slightly embarrassed to say that I hadn't been aware of him before - after hearing a mere half an hour of his catchy, bluesy self-penned songs, I am now officially a fan!!

A truly wonderful night, definitely one off my musical bucket list!
 

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Now that's what I call a BIG VOICE OVER JOB!!!

Actor & Voice Artist SEAN CONNOLLY during a mammoth VOICE OVER job for COVENTRY UNIVERSITY ...

In all the years I've been doing voice over work - I don't think I have ever been involved in a BIGGER PROJECT! Over the last six months or so myself and fellow voice over artist MIRIAM EDWARDS have been recording voices for a really quite epic INTERNATIONAL E-LEARNING PROJECT for COVENTRY UNIVERSITY.

Over that time, we've both attended 4 voice over sessions, I've voiced 
20 different characters used 15 dialects over 60 scripts comprising of over 700 pages and ... I happen to NARRATE the whole project too!! PHEW!!   
MIRIAM EDWARDS in full flow playing one of her many characters in the E-LEARNING PROJECT for COVENTRY UNIVERSITY ...

The project called 'SOFT SKILLS FOR HARD HATS' aims to develop managerial skills for constructions workers across Europe and has been produced by COVENTRY UNIVERSITY with many European partners.

A big shout out must go to our Studio Engineer DARREN WOOD who has been providing the technical know-how at the Recording Studio at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in COVENTRY where we have been spending so much time of late. Miriam and I have thoroughly enjoyed the long, vocally taxing but ultimately very enjoyable sessions in the studio - it 'almost' started to feel like a 'proper' job, well .. almost!!

Friday, 18 May 2018

Saying a fond farewell to my SECOND BATCH of Radio Drama students from the ROYAL BIRMINGHAM CONSERVATOIRE - They're sounding great!!

Actor and Voice Artist SEAN CONNOLLY with students from the ROYAL BIRMINGHAM CONSERVATOIRE Group 1 - Year 2 BA (Hons) Radio Drama class 2017-2018.

A few months ago I said goodbye to my SECOND BATCH of YEAR 2 BA (HONS) Acting students at the ROYAL BIRMINGHAM CONSERVATOIRE. Once again it was a joy teaching these talented and committed young actors all about the disciplines of working in RADIO DRAMA, this time in the wonderful new recording studios at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
Actor and Voice Artist SEAN CONNOLLY with students from the ROYAL BIRMINGHAM CONSERVATOIRE Group 2 - Year 2 BA (Hons) Radio Drama class 2017-2018.
Year 2 BA (Hons) Acting Students from the ROYAL BIRMINGHAM CONSERVATOIRE Radio Drama class 2017-2018 explore a radio drama piece in the studio ...
As my FIRST BATCH - click here for their Graduation page - prepare to go out into the big bad world of Acting, I'm very much looking forward to working with my THIRD BATCH this coming October ...

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Star-studded forthcoming short film boasts an impressive roster of household names oh and little me!!

Poster for the upcoming short film 'SAVING GRACE' from producer and director GARETH KNOWLES ...

I am more than a little excited to announce my involvement in what I'm sure will prove to be a truly extraordinary short film called 'SAVING GRACE' by GARETH KNOWLES at QUIRKY CAMERA PRODUCTIONS. Director and producer Gareth has secured the talents of some of the UK's biggest screen stars including SUE JOHNSTON perhaps best known as BARBARA ROYLE in the classic BBC comedy 'THE ROYLE FAMILY' but is also very well known for 'WAKING THE DEAD' and 'DOWNTON ABBEY', BAFTA AWARD-WINNING actor JASON WATKINS known for roles in the BBC satirical comedy 'W1A', Channel 4's comedy 'TROLLIED' and on the big screen the 'NATIVITY' series of Christmas-based films. Completing the hat-trick of high profile names in the film is HARRY POTTER star DAVID BRADLEY, David is of course instantly recognisable as Hogwarts's Caretaker ARGUS FILCH as well as playing WALDER FREY in 'GAME OF THRONES', he is also well known for playing William Harnell's FIRST DOCTOR in a number of episodes of 'DOCTOR WHO'. The film also introduces young actress ERIN KNOWLES ... 

I was delighted to be asked by Gareth to provide some key VOICE OVERS for the film. Of course details of the exact nature of the VO's can't be revealed - you'll get NO SPOILERS from me - more details about the film's plot etc will be revealed nearer its time of release.

Actor and Voice Artist SEAN CONNOLLY recording some key moments for the forthcoming short film 'SAVING GRACE' ...

It was a terrific voice session skilfully directed by the film's director GARETH KNOWLES with SOUND SUPREMO GRAHAM FAZACKERLEY in attendance to capture my mumblings!! Here's a pic of the three of us relaxing after completing a very successful session ... (below left to right - Graham Fazackerley, myself and Gareth Knowles) ...


Really can't wait for the world to see 'SAVING GRACE' - it'll certainly be worth the wait!