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Voice Work

This category is for the productions Wendy worked on by doing voice-overs; this is regardless of whether the base medium is television or film.  It does not include her radio work -- which is covered here -- since that medium is by definition a non-visual one.



Are You Being Served

In 2009 the BBC issued a CD set (ISBN 978-1-408-41034-9) which comprised the audio portion of selected episodes of its hit series Are You Being Served?  Each set contained two CDs, each of which in turn contained two episodes, for a total of four episodes per set.  Because some of the humor of the original television series relied on visual jokes, these were necessarily described briefly in-line through new narration spoken by Wendy.  The first CD set was followed by a second set of episode audio tracks in 2010 (ISBN 978-1-408-41035-6).

front of AYBS? soundtrack set 1 Front of AYBS? soundtrack set 2


For example, in the first episode of the first set "Camping In", Wendy briefly introduces it (112k).  Then when a major scene change occurs, she provides an idea of what the characters are now doing (140k).  For some visual gags that are otherwise not described in the script, she offers a few words (111k) to bring them across to the listener (140k).  And of course there's more than just these few bits.  On all the CDs, Wendy's pronunciation is clear and studied, and she provides enough inflection to avoid sounding mechanical.  It is quite possible her careful tone of speech was intentional, to avoid confusing the listener between her narrative comments and the lines of her character Shirley Brahms.

Overall, Wendy's narration is pleasant to hear, even if there's probably less than a minute total of her speaking on each episode.  Her reading voice was quite lovely -- it's really too bad that Wendy was never able to get around to reading her autobiography as an audiobook.


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Naughty Girls

This was a Border Productions film shot in 1975 in the fashion of a pseudo-documentary that purported to examine the work and life of a quartet of pretty young expatriate British women in Southeast Asia.  Unfortunately, the plot was just the thinnest of veils for what was, on balance, a thoroughly adult short film that easily lived down to its titillating title.

Wendy's involvement with this work is rather curious.  The film is divided into four parts:  one for each of four women, with each segment containing an on-screen presence by one actress and a voice-over narration by someone different.  While three of the four sections are quite raunchy -- easily meriting at least an R-rating -- the single section for which Wendy provides the voice-over is surprisingly tame by comparison.  It could almost pass as a run-of-the-mill travelogue advertisement for the Bali coast; though, to be sure, some of the dialogue between her and the male narrator is rather saucy.  The only mention by Ms Richard of this work, that I know about, was in a 1987 interview she did for My Weekly magazine (11 Apr 87): "There was a time I did a voice-over for a film documentary which, because there were some nude scenes in it, some people said was rude.  I can tell you that if I'd thought it was rude, I'd have had nothing to do with it.  But a reporter came to ask me about it, and I told him that what I'd seen of the film -- and that was just the part I'd been concerned with -- looked very nice.  All I'd done was a 'voice-over' . . ."

Whether Wendy was misled about the nature of the overall film, or whether her segment was drastically toned down to avoid risking her participation, or whether this was just a (not uncommon) example of an actor only being familiarized with the specific part they are to work on, is unknown.  But, regardless, the voice work she did here for the character of "Kathy Scott" was well-done and a rather delightful listen.  The character is introduced as a Cockney, and it's vintage Wendy, with her instantly-recognizable glass voice and decidedly East End lilt and vocabulary.  Here is a sampler of some of her lines from the film:


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