(Actually, this is a Kate Duchêne fansite)
Welcome to my humble online tribute to the humanoid collection of pure spiff that is Kate Duchêne. I hope you enjoy surfing this collection of art, links, and stuff as much as I enjoyed making it.
Sorry about the title, but it was either that or "I can't think of a title for this site" - ICTOATFTS doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. I couldn't for the life of me think of a more serious title that adequately fit Kate Duchêne without getting bogged down in endless superlatives (half of which I made up in a vain attempt to convey her spiff).
There isn’t enough Kate Duchêne spiff on the internet. Despite many search engine result’s promises of photos, information and new and exciting ways to enhance your vacuum’s efficiency, you end up chasing a circular treadmill of links with neither end nor content. WOE! Whine! Oh, the humanity! Such is the gross unfairness of this cruel, lint-filled world of ours. Maybe in some parallel dimension this grievous miscarriage of karmic justice has been rectified, perhaps in a land where cats have the ability to cook dinners using only their minds. But mortals such as you and I do not inhabit such a paradise, and the lack of Duchêne goodness online is a problem that undercuts all of the true wrongs with Western society*. So, to rectify this, I have created this online repository for not only my own forays into fannish exaltation, but to collect and catalogue the existing information / multimedia.
Plastic cheese, which is in fact plastic masquerading as cheese slices, is proof that human beings have truly mastered their environment. We have advanced to such a point that we have created a mutant foodstuff that exceeds the tastiness and calcium content of the very foodstuff it was created to emulate.
* I may or may not be exaggerating. I may also be an amphibian in disguise. You never know.
Stuff I've drawn over the years. Click on the thumbnails for full-sized images.
Desktop backgrounds I've made. Click on the thumbnails for full-sized images.
Following over 40 pages of google search (some of the more helpful were in German, oddly), I present to thee A Nice Complete Biography (ANCF, which could also stand for All New Chickens Bounce... But it doesn't.)
On the 5th January 1959, the world’s amount of overall spiff increased. This was because on that date in London, England, Catherine Anne Duchêne (OR Kate Alexandra Elizabeth Duchêne, depending on which online biography is correct) was born. Thankfully, as is the case with many human beings, both her cognitive abilities and body size increased over a period of several years, ultimately resulting in a 1.78m (5' 10") tall, incredibly good-looking and talented biped engaged in the business of acting.
Kate’s Swiss grandfather, Louis, was the manager of the Ritz Hotel in London, and her father, Louis-François Duchêne (1927 – 2005) was a press attaché to the European Coal and Steel Community. Reportedly, Louis-François "surprised his friends by writing a study of W.H. Auden". Kate’s mother, Anne Purves Duchêne, is very elusive insofar as information is concerned, save for the sad fact of her passing away in 19974. Kate has one daughter, Anna Charlote Duchêne, born on April 15th 20065.
Kate has many qualifications, some of which include having the requisite number of limbs to function in modern society, and the study Modern Languages at Trinity College, Cambridge6. While at Cambridge, she participated in Footlights from 1981 to 19857. As well as being an actor of immense caliber, possessing the ability to self-propel using legs (also known as walking, to lesser mortals). Add to that the fact that she speaks fluent English, French and Spanish8, which increases Kate’s spiff quotient to near intolerable (especially for those of us who don’t live in England and thus can’t see all her theater work.9) wonderful levels.
Kate’s career spans theatre, film and television, notably portraying the paragon of ultimate spiff that is Constance Hardbroom in the television series the Worst Witch. Also, by no means limited to visual mediums, Kate has also done quite a bit of voice and radio work, most recently for producers David Tyler, Andy Jordan, and Jeremy Mortimer10. Of note is Kate’s ongoing affiliation with theatrical director Katie Mitchell, who is renowned both for her preference for ensemble-style acting, and tendency to push the boundaries of established theatrical conventions.
Hmm, this biography is looking a little too short for my liking. Verily I will extend it using my elite prediction skills, utilizing advanced statistical methods of extrapolation11. One may speculate that, for whatever reason, if you were to cover Kate in yellow paint, she would look quite blue. The same applies to red, purple and green paint. Blue is the only exception, really, owing to her strange biological ability of absorbing blue substances, the existence of which hasn’t actually been observed or proven. The ability, that is, not the substances. Not that I’m saying you should cover her in paint, unless you absolutely had to (in order to save the universe, or something of similar magnitude).
Here are some miscellanious images. Click the thumbnails to view the full-sized pictures.
Titles and additional information where I could find it, this filmography is arranged in the following sections:
All Good Children (2009)
An Education (2008)
Monsieur N. (2002)
Filmed in French, with English subtitles, this movie is concerned with the mysteries surrounding Napoleon Bonaparte's death. Kate plays the role of Madame Balcombe. Click here to visit the official website, or click here to read several reviews of the film. Click on the thumbnails below to view full sized images from this.
Calender Girls (1999)
I can't find ANY information about this, and the man at the DVD store looked at me very strangely when I tried to order it in (he kept insisting that I wanted the 2003 movie of the same name). Humph.
The Tall Guy (1989)
A light comedy about the misadventures of Dexter King, a 40-yr-old actor whose career is stuck in a rut. Kate's role is "Old Girlfriend".You can read reviews of the film here, here, and here.
The Escape Artist (2013)
Foyle's War (2012)
A fascinating drama wherein the main character can communicate with the spirits of the dead. Unlike the mass-produced, run-of-the-mill American dramas of the same premise, this intriguing British production pairs the 'gifted' main character with a skeptical psychology lecturer. The resultant conflict between belief and science, and the overlapping of the two, is explored throughout the series to great effect. As a card-carrying Skeptic myself, this open debate (and its masterful dramatic interpretation) that permeates the series is as intellectually refreshing as it is entertaining. Kate's character is Barbara Sinyard, coworker of the main character, psychology lecturer Robert. Images below: Click the thumbnail to view the full-sized image.
Casualty: Season 18, episode 32 - Forget Me Not (2004)
Casualty is a drama series set in the emergency department of Holby General hospital. In one episode, Kate was Debbie Hansell. TV.com explains the episode thus: "Harry has to suspend his daughter when she confesses to her crimes against Lara and it's a bad day for Simon as Lara finds a bag of coke in his pocket and after he tells Tally she was the biggest mistake of his life She commits suicide in the hospital toilets and the doctors have to resuscitate her but will she survive? Roxy says a final goodbye to her baby as the surrogate parents take him away and Josh has to suspend Luke following the investigation."... Who did what in the where now? I hope that made sense to someone, somewhere.
Wyrdsister College (2001)
A brief re-appearance of Kate as Constance Hardbroom emphasised to viewers that Wyrdsister College was the 'sequel' to the popular Worst Witch television series.
Midsomer Murders: The Garden of Death (2000) - Jane Bennett
Midsomer Murders is a delightful detective program, wherein detective Barnaby uncovers unimaginable intrigue beneath the calm surface of rural English towns. This particular episode, “Garden Of Death” sees several murders centered around the prospect of a garden monument being dug up to allow for the construction of commercial tea rooms. I can say no more without revealing the plot of this wonderful whodunit, I’m not even going to tell you whodunit, so you’d better get your hands on a copy and watch one and a half ours of pure dramatic spiff! Click on the thumbnails below to view the full-sized images.
The Bill: On The Wagon (2000) - Laura
The Worst Witch (1998 - 2000)
Oh, what to say about this amazing, fantastic, magnificent, spiffy show... Cackle's Academy is a boarding school where young witches learn their craft. From her very first day, young Mildred Hubble lurches from disaster to disaster, despite the best of intentions. She has a group of four loyal friends, an enemy in the nasty Ethel Hallow and her hench(wo)man Drucilla Paddock, and despite her disaster-prone nature, Mildred always manages to save the day. As well as the students, there is a fantastic ensemble of staff at Cackle's Academy: Ms. Cackle, the kindly and wise headmistress, Ms. Batt, the utterly insane but delightful chanting teacher, Ms. Drill, the PE teacher and only non-witch at the school, and most importantly Constance Hardbroom, the strict potions mistress, broomstick flying teacher and deputy principal. Seasons one through three of The Worst Witch saw Kate as Constance Hardbroom (also nicknamed HB by the students), with lots of teleportation and zapping and shouting. All humanoid beings must see this series at some point, such is its spiff. Click on the thumbnails below to view the full-sized images.
Peak Practice: Season 8, Episode 5: Buying Time (1999)
TV.com has the following to say about this episode: "Sam's interest in MS sufferer Anna becomes less then healthy when he lets his heart rule his head. The situation blurs his medical judgement and causes friction with Andrew. Trent returns home from hospital but the after effects of his illness begin to take hold."... Unhelpful in this filmography, so alas all I can find that is constructive about this episode is that it had Kate playing Dr. Jenny Ryan.
Kiss Me Kate (1998)
This BBC comedy looks at the happenings in a small psychotherapy centre run by, amongst other dysfunctional characters, counselor Kate Salinger. The official BBC website about it explains it in a bit more depth. Kate (heh, not the one from the title, the one this filmography is about) was in two episodes of the first season ("Calender" and "Mike") as Lesley.
Out Of Hours (1998)
A six-part BBC production with Kate as Sue Craven.
Wing And A Prayer (1997)
A drama nominated for a BAFTA in 1998. Kate was Gillian Rhodes
This Is David Harper: Season 1, Episode 1: Dubious Achievement (1990)
Originally, this comedy series was called "This Is David Lander". Kate was in the first episode as Caroline Jones.
A Sense Of Guilt (1990)
A seven-part drama series looking at the problems created when a middle-aged writer has an affair with his friend's teenage daughter. Kate plays Marsha Hinde.
Boon: Season 2, Episode 1: Paper Mafia (1987)
Kate was simply credited as "Pregnant Lady".
Miss Marple: At Bertram's Hotel (1987)
Another adventure of everyone's favorite adorable detective, Miss Marple (Joan Hickson in this version), wherein Kate played a character called Rose.
England Their England
I read somewhere that Kate was involved in something related to this, but all I can find about it is that it is a satirical novel written in 1933. A televised adaptation of the novel, maybe?
- Attempts On Her life (Directed by Katie Mitchell, 2007)
- Waves (Directed by Katie Mitchell, 2006)
- Iphigenia At Aulius (as Clytemnestra, directed by Katie Mitchell, 2001 and 2006)
- Mendelssohn's Antigone (as Ismene, 2003)
- The Sugar Syndrome (as Jan, directed by Marianne Elliot)
- Caryl Churchill Festival (as various, directed by Ian Rickson/Dominic Cooke, 2002)
- The Inland Sea (as Simone, directed by Dominic Dromgoole, 2002)
- A Midsummer Night's Dream (as Titania/Hippolita, directed by Jonathan Best, 1999-2002)
- Small Craft Warning (as Violet, directed by Rufus Norris, 1999)
- The Herbal Bed (as Susanna, direced by Michael Attenborough, 1997)
- Faust parst one and two (as Earth Spirit/Martha/Helen of Troy, directed by Michael Bogdanov, 1995-1996)
- The Relapse (as Amanda, directed by Ian Judge, 1995-1996)
- The Cherry Orchard (as Varya, direcred by Adrian Noble, 1995-1996)
- Hated Nightfall (as Caroline, directed by Howard Barker, 1994-1995)
- The Country Wife (as Alithea, direcred by Max Stafford Clark, 1993-1994)
- Murder In The Canal (in the chorus, directed by Steven Pimlott, 1993-1994)
- The Merchant Of Venice (as Jessica, directed by David Thacker, 1993-1994)
- Richard III (as Queen Elizabeth, directed by Sam Mendes, 1992-1993)
- The Rivals (as Lydia, directed by John Adams, 1992)
- The Resistable Rise Of Arturo Ui (Di Trevis, 1991)
- The Miser (as Elise, directed by Steven Pimlott, 1991)
- Kean (as Amy, directed by Sam Mendes, 1990)
- The Cherry Orchard (as Charlotta, directed by Sam Mendes, 1989-1990)
- Cloud Nine (as Maud and Betty, directed by David Leveaux, 1989)
- The Triumph Of Love (directed by Jeremy Raison, 1989)
- Summerfolk (as Kaleria, directed by Sam Mendes, 1989)
- Love's Labours Lost (as Princess of Frances, directed by Sam Mendes, 1989)
- The Sea (as Rose, directed by Peter Lichtenfels, 1986)
- Klimkov (as Rayissa and Olga, directed by Jenny Killick, 1984-1986)
- Dead men (as Anna, directed by Peter Lichtenfels, 1984-1986)
- White Rose (as Lily Litvac, directed by Stephen Unwin, 1984-1986)
- Losing Venice (as Duchess and Preist, directed by Jenny Killick, 1984-1986)
- Lucy's Play (as Lucy, directed by Jenny Killick, 1984-1986)
- Kathy and the Hippopotamus (as Ana, directed by Stephen Unwin, 1984-1986)
- The Real Inspector Hound (as Cynthia, 1984)
- Wuthering Heights (directed by Ellen Dean, 1984)
- Spring and Port Wine (as Florence, 1984)
- Taking Steps (as Kitty, 1984)
- Carry On Up Pandora's Box (1981)
- A Respectable Wedding (as Mother, directed by Jenny Killick, 1981)
- Measure For Measure (as Mariana, directed by Stephen Unwin, 1981)
- The Balcony (as Carmen, directed by Pip Broughton, 1987-1980)
- Three Sisters (as Olga, directed by Brigid Larmour, ???)
- The Duchess Of Malfi (as the Duchess, directed by Richard Spaul, ???)
- Nest (BBC Radio 3)
- My First Planet (BBC Radio 4)
- Cabin Pressure (BBC Radio 4)
- The Long View (BBC Radio 4)
- Giles Wemmbley Hogg Goes Off (BBC Radio 4 Comedy Show) Last broadcast - 28 August 2002, this play followed the global adventures of archetypal looser Giles Wemmbley-Hogg, as he takes his gap year before going to University. While no longer on free-to-air radio, this series is widely available from online stores.
- Ironhand (Parts 1 & 2, BBC Radio 3)
- Lessons In Italian (BBC Radio 4)
- Grosse Fugue (BBC Radio 4) Last broadcast - 1998?
- Citizens (BBC Radio 4)
- Ivy Who (BBC Radio 4)
- Losing Venice (BBC Radio 3) Adapted for BBC3 in 1986 following a 1985 performance in Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, this play has Kate credited as "Duchess". For further information, see the Teatro Do Mundo website.
- Blokada (BBC Radio Scotland) Broadcast 1986, Cordelia Oliver reviewed this radio play in issue No. 51 of Scottish Theatre News... Not that I can get my hands on the review.
- The Wish House (BBC Radio 4)
Reviews and Articles
- Kate page on the Richard Stone partnership
- Attempts On Her Life review by Adam Dobson (MusicOMH.com, 5 May 2007): A balanced critique of the play's method of screen/live action presentation.
- ‘Attempts’ Review Round-up (Robert Sharp's blog, March 20th, 2007): an interesting look at other reviewer's opinions.
- An Attempt that tries too hard By Nicholas de Jongh (Evening Standard 15.03.07) : Criticizes Attempts On Her Life, branding its content and structure nihilistic.
- Attempting to make sense of Attempts on Her Life…. by Mark Shenton (16 March 2007): A not-so complimentary review that nonetheless recognises the play's boundery pushing.
- Attempts on her Life review by Matt Wolf (Theatre.com, 15/03/2007): a very complimentary review that "makes you glad to be in England." (you can hear the collective longing wail from people, like me, who don't live in England)
- Attempts On Her Life review by Michael Coveney ( What's On, 15th March 2007): Coveney sees the technological aspects of the play as a "brilliant" modernisation.
- Attempts on Her Life review by Michael Billington (The Guardian, March 15, 2007): Another reviewer who liked the play overall, but felt the technological aspects were problematic.
- Is the heroine a woman or a brand of car? If the author doesn't know, how can we? by Charles Spencer (the Telegraph, 6/03/2007): Spencer reviews the play as intriguing, but lacking in heart.
- What's On Stage forum discussion of "Attempts on her life"
- 'He wouldn't shut up - so I threw plates at him' (The Guardian, February 14, 2007) : interviews with several actors and directors (including Kate) about the dynamics of their jobs
- Zola and Woolf at the National (The British Theatre Review, 22nd August, 2006): breifly mentions Waves.
- The First Post: also breifly mentions Waves.
- London Theatre Guide: a concise look at Waves, quoting several other critics.
- Waves review by Michael Billington (The Guardian, November 17, 2006): this reviewer beleives the technical mastery of the play overshadowed emotive impact.
- Waves review by Sam Marlowe at Cottesloe (The Times, November 18, 2006) : gives the reader an interesting glimpse of the dramatic devices used within the play.
- Iphigenia at Aulis by Charlotte Loveridge (A Curtain Up London Review) : a complimentary, analytical review of the play.
- Theatre: A cut above -The National’s Iphigenia transcends political spin to reach the passion within By Victoria Segal (Sunday Times, June 27, 2004) - extols the interesting design and strangeness Mitchell's direction brought to the play.
- Iphegenia at Aulis by Sinéad Gleeson (RTÉ 2004): "Kate Duchene is outstanding as Clytemnestra" ah, a reviewer with fine taste indeed :P
- Iphigenia at Aulis (Theatrepro.com): a thorough explanation of the play's stylistic choices and plot.
- The Greeks Conquer the London Stage With War and Sacrifice, but No Heroes by Ben Brantley (Critic's Notebook, July 8, 2004): A very complimentary review indeed.
- Gods and monsters dressed in Dior by Kate Bassett (Independent, Jun 27, 2004) : primarily examines the effect of the script's modernisation.
- National Theatre Company members profile
- The Cherry Orchard Review by Emma Shane (1996): a thorough run-down of the plot of the play, plus interesting and well-considered opinions.
- Royal Shakespere Company: Richard III review (1993) : a brief look at the changes during the production's run.
You may also wish to check out Ms Cat's Worst Witch Academy the biggest, best, and overall most fantastic Worst Witch fansite out there!
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