Christian's twenty-year career in British theater encompasses radio plays, West End performances, television and audiobooks, narrated primarily for Chivers Audio Books. AudioFile has acclaimed Christian's performances of OFFICERS AND GENTLEMEN by Evelyn Waugh, TO SERVE THEM ALL THEIR DAYS by R.F. Delderfield, SWITCH BITCH by Roald Dahl, IN PATAGONIA by Bruce Chatwin and WATERLAND by Graham Swift. Christian's appreciation of and facility with the satire of Waugh and Dahl make them among his personal favorites. He's on the lookout to record work by Tom Sharpe or other comedic novels.
His passion for the sea made his recent work with C.S. Forster's Horatio Hornblower series a natural extension of his interests. Unlike in the U.S., where narrators often focus their work for a specific audience or subject area, in Britain narrators have a chance to perform children's books, as well as an array of adult titles. Christian has enjoyed the children's books he's done, appreciating the quality of the writing. Meticulous with his preparation, Christian has the facility to vary his pace and style from high action to contemplative reflection to sharp-edged satire.--[December 1998]
Winston Churchill's histories--four volumes of A HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING PEOPLES--and the recent THE SECOND WORLD WAR: MILESTONES TO DISASTER were a major undertaking to record and a success with history buffs. Fans of his Hornblower stories, check out Julian Stockwin's KYDD.
Christian's success with Lindsey Davis's Marcus Didius Falco mysteries continues with THE SILVER PIGS earlier this year, and now he gets a rave for SEE DELPHI AND DIE . Still in this classical realm, he's just completed Valerio Massimo Manfredi's EMPIRE OF DRAGONS. His recording of Ian Rankin's BLOOD HUNT showed his skill with a British mystery set in the U.S. Unfortunately, on this side of the Atlantic, we've yet to hear Christian's recordings of the multi-volume A HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH SPEAKING PEOPLES by Sir Winston Churchill.
After recording two Marcus Didius Falco mysteries by Lindsey Davis, A BODY IN THE BATHHOUSE and THE JUPITER MYTH , Christian began working on the four volumes of A HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH SPEAKING PEOPLES by Sir Winston Churchill. His recording of GOLDKEEPER by Sally Prue is geared for the 4-8-year-old set, and he continues his Julian Stockwin series with QUARTERDECK.
While he was busy with theater work in the UK, Christian was also able to treat American listeners to his reading of the time-travel novel BLITZED by Robert Swindells—-an Earphones Award winner. With all the interest in heroic figures, could Vikings be enjoying a comeback? Christian does justice to a collection of myths in VIKING!
Christian is a master of nautical adventure, and any of his Horatio Hornblower titles are well worth a new listen. In September, Christian gave a special performance from HORNBLOWER IN THE WEST INDIES as part of Pirates Aloud!, a live event in Rockland, ME, sponsored by AudioFile . While Christian visited he took part in a lively program of pirate stories for children at the Farnsworth Art Museum. Now, Christian tells us he's moving on to Vikings. Enjoy Christian's skill with dozens of Australian accents in Jon Cleary's new THE EASY SIN . And, Volume VI of Lynda LaPlante's TRIAL AND RETRIBUTION series is on the shelves.
Christian spent time on the gritty side of British mysteries this year, recording Lynda LaPlante's TRIAL AND RETRIBUTION IV and Ian Rankin's BLOOD HUNT. He also went "down under" to do Jon Cleary's Australian novels and is working on the upcoming futuristic nature program "The Future Is Wild" for British television.
Christian completed several thrillers by Lynda LaPlante, author of the "Prime Suspect" PBS series. TRIAL AND RETRIBUTION I, II and III challenge both reader and listener with gritty crimes and diabolical villains. Christian makes them riveting. In a dramatic contrast of subject, Christian also completed collections of myths and fables for children, making stories of ancient Egypt, the Far East, Siberia, and Greece come alive with a myriad of exotic characters. Listeners should look for BRONZE CAULDRON and THE CRYSTAL POOL by Geraldine McCaughrean and EGYPTIAN GODS AND PHARAOHS by Robert Swindells. In a recent Earphones winner, THE STONES ARE HATCHING , Christian offers a fantastical world of creatures and characters, showcasing his facility with accents and characterization.
After completing Forster's Horatio Hornblower series, Christian is land-based for a change, and we've heard titles that really show off his breadth of talent. Dick King-Smith's sensitive but not sentimental story of a disabled boy, SPIDER SPARROW , known in the UK as THE CROW STARVER, gave Christian a change from the political intrigue and violence so prevalent in modern thrillers. The intelligent espionage of RECKONING by Ted Allbeury gave Christian plenty of chances to utilize his fabulous repertoire of voices. In an upcoming title, SINGING THE SADNESS by Reginald Hill, Christian was particularly intrigued with the unlikely black private eye, Joe Sixsmith. Between books, Christian has been active with BBC Radio shows and other performances, including some of Arkangel's Shakespeare productions. He's appearing this fall in a new play at Bristol's Old Vic Theatre.