Janie Dee

Janie Dee (born 20 June 1962) is an English actress and singer. She won the Olivier Award for Best Actress,[1] Evening Standard Award[2] and Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Play, and in New York the Obie[3] and Theatre World Award for Best Newcomer,[4] for her performance as Jacie Triplethree in Alan Ayckbourn's Comic Potential.

Janie Dee
Born (1962-06-20) 20 June 1962 (age 58)
Old Windsor, Berkshire, England
OccupationActress, singer, dancer
Years active1986–present
Rupert Wickham
(m. 1995)
RelativesSaskia Wickham (sister-in-law)

She also won the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical[5] for her performance as Carrie Pipperidge in Nicholas Hytner's acclaimed production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel at the National Theatre.

In 2013, Dee won the TMA Theatre Award UK for Best Performance in a Musical for her performance as Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly at Curve, Leicester.

Early life and educationEdit

Janie Dee was born in Old Windsor, Berkshire. She is the daughter of John Lewis and Ruth Lewis (née Miller) and the eldest of four sisters. She trained at the Arts Educational School in Chiswick, London. On leaving ArtsEd, Dee began her career as a dancer, subsequently moving to Rome, Italy where she taught dance, took singing lessons, and learned to speak Italian.



Dee's first West End production was Gillian Lynne's 1986 revival of Cabaret by Kander and Ebb in which she played Gertie and understudied the role of Sally Bowles. This led to an invitation from Wayne Sleep, who played the Emcee in that production, to join his UK tour. Subsequently, the choreographer Bill Deamer invited her to the Salisbury Playhouse to perform in A Chorus of Disapproval by Alan Ayckbourn. This began a close association between Dee, Ayckbourn and his work.

This led to leading roles in musical theatre, including Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls, Ellie May Chipley in the award-winning Royal Shakespeare Company and Opera North production of Show Boat at the London Palladium, Bombalurina in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies, Claudine in Cole Porter's Can-Can, and Ado Annie in the national tour of Oklahoma!.

Dee's portrayal of Carrie Pipperidge in the 1993 Royal National Theatre's production of Carousel earned her an Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical and an invitation from Sir Richard Eyre to play her first major straight role; that of Julie in Johnny on a Spot at the National Theatre, where she subsequently went on to play Helen of Troy in The Women of Troy.

Dee has had an important working relationship with the playwright and director Alan Ayckbourn. This began with Paul Todd's fringe production of Between The Lines for which Ayckbourn wrote song lyrics and was followed by Dreams From A Summerhouse at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. She returned to work with Ayckbourn in 1996 in Neil Simon's They're Playing Our Song and it was during the run of this show Ayckbourn wrote Comic Potential 'with Janie in mind'. Her performance as Jacie Triplethree at Scarborough, subsequently in the West End and then at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York, won her three Best Actress Awards in 1999 and 2000, an Obie Award in 2001 and a 2000–1 Theatre World Award as Best Newcomer, as well as considerable critical acclaim. In New York Magazine, John Simon wrote "Miss Dee's creation is a spectacular achievement. I am not sure that I have ever seen its equal, but I am certain I have never seen, nor ever will see, it's superior."


Dee is known for her versatility as a performer. She was invited by opera director David Pountney, to play Lidotchka in his production of Shostakovich's Paradise Moscow for Opera North. She followed this playing Masha in Brian Friel's translation of Chekhov's Three Sisters and Edyth Herbert, opposite Tim Flavin in the George Gershwin musical My One and Only, both at the Chichester Festival Theatre. My One and Only subsequently transferred to the West End and Dee was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

As a result, in 2003 Sir Peter Hall asked Dee to star in his season at the Theatre Royal, Bath, playing Gilda in Noël Coward's Design for Living and Emma in Harold Pinter's Betrayal, opposite Aden Gillett and Hugo Speer. Betrayal subsequently transferred to the Duchess Theatre in the West End. Hall then invited her to play Beatrice in his production of Much Ado About Nothing.

In 2005 Pinter invited Dee to play Kate in Old Times at the Gate Theatre, Dublin and to participate in a celebration of his work, including a reading of his play Celebration, with Jeremy Irons, Derek Jacobi, Sinéad Cusack, Penelope Wilton, Michael Gambon, Stephen Rea and Stephen Brennan. Producer, Michael Colgan, subsequently transferred the piece to London's Noël Coward Theatre, for 3 performances, with Charles Dance playing the Maitre D. Six months later Celebration was filmed for Channel 4, with Colin Firth playing the role of Russell, opposite Dee as Suki.

In 2006 Dee returned to musical theatre to play Mabel Normand in John Doyle's production of Jerry Herman's Mack and Mabel opposite David Soul at the Criterion Theatre, after which Dee took over the role of Lady Driver in Michael Frayn's Donkeys' Years at the Comedy Theatre. At the end of the run Dee helped to organise a reading for charity of William Nicholson's play Shadowlands which deals with the relationship between C. S. Lewis and the American writer Joy Gresham. Charles Dance played C.S. Lewis.

Sir Peter Hall, Harold Pinter and Dee were reunited for the National tour of Old Times with Susannah Harker and Neil Pearson and then a West End Production of Shadowlands was mounted in which Dee was reunited with director Michael Barker-Caven and Charles Dance. The production began at Wyndham's Theatre and subsequently transferred to the Novello Theatre. Charles Dance received the Critic's Circle Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of C. S. Lewis.

In 2008 Dee returned to the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park to play Olivia in Twelfth Night opposite her Carousel co- star, Clive Rowe.

Alan Ayckbourn then invited Dee back to Scarborough to play the title role of Susan in a revival of his play Woman in Mind for which she won critical acclaim and the production subsequently transferred to the Vaudeville Theatre in London.

In 2009 Dee returned to Theatre Royal Bath to play Orinthia in George Bernard Shaw's The Apple Cart, directed by Sir Peter Hall, and took over the role of Annie in Calendar Girls by Tim Firth in the West End. In 2010, Dee played The Countess of Roussillion in All's Well That Ends Well at Shakespeare's Globe which was filmed for DVD release by Opus Arte, Anna Leonowens in Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I at the Curve, Leicester, and played Natalya in Jonathan Kent's production of A Month in the Country at Chichester.


In 2011 she played Belinda in the Old Vic revival of Michael Frayn's Noises Off which was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Revival[6] and subsequently transferred to the Novello Theatre. In 2012, Dee was offered the role of women's magazine editor, Miranda in NSFW, a new play by Lucy Kirkwood at the Royal Court Theatre for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.[7]

At Christmas 2012 Dee played Dolly Levi in Paul Kerryson's revival of Hello Dolly! at the Curve, Leicester for which she won the TMA Theatre Award UK for Best Performance in a Musical.[8]

In 2013 she appeared in the Stephen Sondheim revue, Putting It Together for four performances in Guildford, alongside David Bedella, Daniel Crossley, Damian Humbly and Caroline Sheen which subsequently transferred for a three-week run at the St James Theatre, London in January 2014.

From March until June 2014, Dee co-starred in the London revival of Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre, opposite Dame Angela Lansbury, who reprised her 2009 Tony Award-winning Broadway performance as Madame Arcati. The London cast was Charles Edwards, Jemima Rooper, Serena Evans, Simon Jones and Patsy Ferran.

From September until December 2014, Dee played Titania/Hippolyta in Dominic Dromgoole's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream on a tour of Asia & Russia by Shakespeare's Globe. The production opened at the Rose Theatre, Kingston and then toured to Aylesbury Waterside Theatre before travelling to China, Taiwan, Russia, Singapore & Hong Kong. The cast included Aden Gillett as Oberon/Theseus and Trevor Fox as Bottom.

In January 2015 Dee starred as Desiree Armfeldt in a Gala Concert performance of Sondheim's A Little Night Music at London's Palace Theatre to mark the 40th anniversary of the original London production. The concert also starred Anne Reid, David Birrell, Joanna Riding, Jamie Parker, Anna O'Byrne, Fra Fee and Laura Pitt-Pulford. It was directed by Alastair Knights and the producer and musical director was Alex Parker. Later the same year she played Helene Hanff in a revival of 84, Charing Cross Road at Salisbury Playhouse, co-starring Clive Francis as Frank Doel and directed by James Roose-Evans.[9] In April/May she starred in a revival of Eugene O'Neill's Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic. Whilst appearing in the O'Neill play, Dee also performed a special one-off show, Dream Queen in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe, as part of the London Festival of Cabaret. It drew on her experiences on the Globe tour of Asia and Russia and the inspiration of Elizabeth I and Shakespeare and she was joined by special guests, Juliet Stevenson and Kit Hesketh-Harvey and in the summer she played Irina Arkadina in Torben Betts' version of The Seagull, directed by Matthew Dunster at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre.

In 2016 she starred in the West End transfer of Tony-nominated Broadway comedy Hand to God at the Vaudeville Theatre in London,[10] alongside Harry Melling, Neil Pearson, Jemima Rooper and Kevin Mains. The production was nominated for an Olivier Award in 2016 as Best New Comedy.

In April 2017 Dee completed a critically acclaimed run playing the title role in Linda by Penelope Skinner at Manhattan Theatre Club, New York City for which she was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play and starred as Phyllis Rogers Stone in Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's Follies at the National Theatre in London, opposite Imelda Staunton, Tracie Bennett and Philip Quast for which she was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical, the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical Performance, and the WhatOnStage Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

In May/July 2018 she starred in Monogamy, a dark new comedy by Torben Betts, which plays at London's Park Theatre after a short UK tour.

Film and televisionEdit

Dee has appeared in numerous TV dramas, including Love Hurts, The Bill, as Remy in 8 episodes of London's Burning, Heartbeat, House of Cards, Midsomer Murders, A Tribute to Harold Pinter, the South Bank Show with Sir Peter Hall and In Love With Shakespeare for Sky TV.

In 2003, Dee played Emma Lavenham opposite Martin Shaw's Adam Dalgliesh in two P.D. James adaptations for the BBC; Death in Holy Orders and The Murder Room.

In 2008 she played Zac Efron's mother, Mrs Samuels in Me and Orson Welles and in 2013 Dee filmed Dare To Be Wild, written and directed by Vivienne Decourcy in Dublin for Oasis Films and The Trouble With Dot And Harry, opposite Neil Morrissey directed by Sundance Festival Grand Prize-winner, Gary Walkow.

In January 2016, Dee appeared as Cara in comedy series Crashing written by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge and produced by Big Talk Productions for Channel 4.


Dee has recorded a number of musicals, concerts and dramas for radio, including Carousel and Finian's Rainbow for BBC Radio 2, and she has played Ian Fleming's Miss Moneypenny in radio dramatisations of the James Bond classics On Her Majesty's Secret Service, From Russia With Love, Dr No and Thunderball, as well as a role in Michael Frayn's Skios, all directed by Martin Jarvis.

In 2013 she was invited by composer Guy Barker to be the narrator in his new orchestral work That Obscure Hurt which was premiered at the Aldeburgh Festival 2013, as part of the Benjamin Britten centenary celebrations and was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

She has also appeared as a guest on the quiz show Quote... Unquote for BBC Radio 4.


  • Cabaret (1986 London Revival Cast, First Night Records OCRCD6010)[11]
  • Can Can (1988 London Revival Cast, Virgin CDV 2570)][12]
  • Salad Days (1994 Studio Cast, EMI Classics CDC 5 55200 2)[13]
  • The Shakespeare Revue (1998 Original London Cast, TER Records)
  • Fred Astaire: His Daughter's Tribute (2001 London Cast Recording, First Night Records CASTCD81)[14]
  • Act One: Songs From The Musicals Of Alexander S. Bermange (2008 Dress Circle Records)[15]
  • Janie Dee at the BBC (2017 Auburn Jam Music)[16]


Janie Dee is married to the actor and barrister Rupert Wickham and they have two children. Her sister-in-law is actress Saskia Wickham.

She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Theatrical Fund and supports a number of charities including Stop the War Coalition, St Mungos, Medecins Sans Frontieres and Amnesty International.

In March 2003, Dee devised and produced the London Concert For Peace, a charity concert celebrating the joy of life which was performed at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane with a cast including Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen and David Tennant. Proceeds from the concert were donated to Amnesty International, CARE, Oxfam and the Red Cross.

In June 2014, Dee organised a Noël Coward charity cabaret, entitled I Went to a Marvellous Party at London's historic Cafe de Paris, as a celebration of and farewell to Angela Lansbury, marking the end of the run of Blithe Spirit in London. The Blithe Spirit company performed songs by Noël Coward, a charity auction was hosted by Christopher Biggins and there were special guest appearances by Imelda Staunton and Barry Humphries. Proceeds from the event were donated to Asylum Link Merseyside, Combined Theatrical Charities, Masterclass, Mousetrap, the Noël Coward Foundation and the Royal Academy of Music.

In 2020, Dee organised the London Climate Change Festival. The Festival was organised to inspire, inform and bring hope around climate change. It brought together people from science, the arts, business and activism to discuss what can be done in regards to the climate crisis. The London Climate Change Festival was scheduled to commence on Monday 23rd March. Due to Covid-19 Pandemic it took place online.[17] [18] [19] [20]



Year Title Role Venue
1993 Romeo And Juliet Lady Capulet Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park
1994 Johnny on a Spot Julie Glynn Royal National Theatre
1995 Women of Troy Helen of Troy Royal National Theatre
1999 House / Garden Joanna Mace Stephen Joseph Theatre
1998 Comic Potential Jacie Triplethree Stephen Joseph Theatre / Lyric Theatre
2000 Comic Potential Jacie Triplethree Manahattan Theatre Club
2001 Three Sisters Masha Chichester Festival
2003 Design For Living Gilda Theatre Royal, Bath / Tour
2003 Betrayal Emma Duchess Theatre / Tour
2005 Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice Theatre Royal, Bath
2005 Old Times Kate Gate Theatre, Dublin
2005 Celebration Suki Gate Theatre, Dublin / Albery Theatre
2006 Donkey's Years Lady Driver Comedy Theatre
2007 Old Times Kate National Tour
2007 Shadowlands Joy Gresham Wyndhams Theatre / National Tour
2008 Twelfth Night Olivia Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park
2009 Woman in Mind Susan Stephen Joseph Theatre / Vaudeville Theatre
2009 The Apple Cart Orinthia Theatre Royal, Bath
2009 Calendar Girls Annie Noël Coward Theatre
2010 The Little Hut Susan National Tour
2010 A Month in the Country Natalia Chichester Festival
2011 All's Well That Ends Well Countess of Rousillon Shakespeare's Globe
2011 Private Lives Amanda Nottingham Playhouse
2011 Noises Off Belinda Old Vic / Novello Theatre
2012 NSFW Miranda The Royal Court
2014 Blithe Spirit Ruth Gielgud Theatre
2014 A Midsummer Night's Dream Titania / Hippolyta Shakespeare's Globe on Tour / Asia & Russia
2015 84 Charing Cross Road Helene Hanff Salisbury Playhouse
2015 Ah, Wilderness! Essie Miller Young Vic
2015 The Seagull Irina Arkadina Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park
2016 Hand To God Margery Vaudeville Theatre
2017 Linda Linda Manhattan Theatre Club
2019 Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Masha Theatre Royal Bath

Musical theatreEdit

Year Title Role Venue
1986 Cabaret Gussy, Helga, u/s Sally Bowles Strand Theatre
1988 Can-Can Claudine Strand Theatre
1988 Cats Bombalurina New London Theatre
1989 Showboat Ellie May Chipley London Palladium / National Tour
1992 Sophisticated Ladies Company Gielgud Theatre / National Tour
1992 Between The Lines Jenny Etcetera Theatre
1992 Dreams From A Summerhouse Amanda Stephen Joseph Theatre
1993 A Connecticut Yankee Sandy Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park
1993 Carousel Carrie Pipperidge Royal National Theatre
1994 The Shakepare Revue Company RSC (The Pit) / Vaudeville Theatre
1997 They're Playing Our Song Sonia Stephen Joseph Theatre
1998 Enter The Guardsman The Actress Donmar Warehouse
1998 Love Songs For Shopkeepers Michelle Stephen Joseph Theatre
1996 The Sound of Music Maria Crucible, Sheffield
1999 South Pacific Nellie Forbush Crucible, Sheffield
2001 Paradise Moscow Lydochka Opera North
2001 My One And Only Edythe Chichester Festival / Piccadilly Theatre
2002 Divas at the Donmar One Woman Show Donmar Warehouse
2003 Anyone Can Whistle Fay Apple Bridewell Theatre
2006 Mack And Mabel Mabel Normand Criterion Theatre / Tour
2010 The King And I Anna Leonowens Curve, Leicester
2012 Hello Dolly! Dolly Levi Curve, Leicester
2013 Putting It Together Woman One G-Live, Guildford / St James Theatre
2015 A Little Night Music (Concert) Desiree Armfeldt Palace Theatre
2017 Follies Phyllis Rogers Stone National Theatre
2019 Passion Fosca Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Out of the Cold (The Virtuoso) Consul's Secretary Old Town Pictures / Dir. Aleksandr Buravskiy
2004 "The Murder Room" Emma BBC Series
2008 Me and Orson Welles Mrs Samuels Cinemax Productions / Dir. Richard Linklater
2013 Dare to be Wild Marigold Treasure / Dir. Vivienne Decourcy
2013 The Trouble With Dot and Harry Diane Dir. Gary Walkow


Year Title Role Notes
2003 Under The Net BBC Radio 4 / Dir. Maria Aitken
2004 Forever Mine Angela BBC Radio 4 / Dir. Martin Jarvis
2008 Dr No Miss Moneypenny BBC Radio 4 / Dir. Martin Jarvis
2009 Man of the Moment Trudie Parks BBC Radio 4 / Dir. Martin Jarvis
2009 Words & Music: The Double Narrator BBC Radio 3 / Prod. Peter Meanwell
2012 From Russia With Love Miss Moneypenny BBC Radio 4 / Dir. Martin Jarvis
2013 Skios Georgie BBC Radio 4 / Dir. Martin Jarvis
2013 On Her Majesty's Secret Service Miss Moneypenny BBC Radio 4 / Dir. Martin Jarvis
2013 That Obscure Hurt Narrator BBC Radio 3 / Composer Guy Barker

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result
1993 Laurence Olivier Award Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical Carousel Won
1999 Evening Standard Theatre Award Best Actress Comic Potential Won
Critics' Circle Theatre Award Best Actress Won
2000 Laurence Olivier Award Best Actress Won
2001 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Play Nominated
Lucile Lortel Award Outstanding Actress Nominated
Obie Award Performance Won
Theatre World Award Honouree
2003 Laurence Olivier Award Best Actress in a Musical My One and Only Nominated
2013 Laurence Olivier Award Best Actress in a Supporting Role NSFW Nominated
UK Theatre Award Best Performance in a Musical Hello, Dolly! Won
2017 Evening Standard Theatre Award Best Musical Performance Follies Nominated
2018 Laurence Olivier Award Best Actress in a Musical Nominated
WhatsOnStage Award Best Actress in a Musical Nominated


  1. ^ "Olivier Winners 2000". Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  2. ^ "EVENING STANDARD THEATRE AWARDS – Best Actress Winners, 1955 to present". Westendtheatre.com.
  3. ^ "New York News, Food, Culture and Events - Village Voice". Villagevoice.com.
  4. ^ "Theatre World Awards - Theatre World Awards". Theatreworldawards.org.
  5. ^ "Olivier Winners 1993". Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
  6. ^ "Olivier Winners 2012". Archived from the original on 2 November 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Olivier Winners 2013". Archived from the original on 14 April 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 December 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ 84 Charing Cross Road programme. The Salisbury Playhouse.
  10. ^ Hand to God gets West End transfer with Janie Dee and Jemima Rooper The Stage 19 November 2015
  11. ^ "Cabaret (1986 London Cast)". First Night Records. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  12. ^ "Can-Can Recordings". Sondheim Guide. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Slade: Salad Days product page". Amazon. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Fred Astaire: His Daughter's Tribute (London Palladium Cast)". First Night Records. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  15. ^ "Act One on iTunes". Apple. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Janie Dee at the BBC | BUY CD | Auburn Jam Records". Auburnjam.co.uk. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  17. ^ https://londonclimatechangefestival.com/
  18. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/11/london-stars-and-activists-stage-climate-change-festival
  19. ^ https://www.londontheatredirect.com/news/first-climate-change-festival-in-london-to-be-held-in-spring-2020-at-the-charing-cross-theatre
  20. ^ https://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/news/climate-change-festival-janie-dee-charing-cross_50683.html

External linksEdit