A few of my favourite things: Janie Dee

The Alps, Bonnie Langford and Brasserie Zedel are among Janie Dee’s favourite things

Actress Janie Dee is appearing at London's Crazy Coqs with her cabaret show Dee-licious, Lightful and Lovely!, running from 10-14 March 2015.

She is currently in rehearsals for Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic Theatre, and this Summer will star in The Seagull at the Open Air Theatre and Mrs Henderson Presents at Theatre Royal Bath. Her recent stage credits include 84 Charing Cross Road and Blithe Spirit.

We caught up with Janie to find out a few of her favourite things.


My favourite film comes with my favourite film music. The moment that music starts I am in Italy and longing to see the film and all the beautifully captured moments and the truths of life and art and artists/people; and that is Cinema Paradiso. I lived and taught dance in Rome when I was 19 and it was there that I studied singing classically for the first time. I danced in the piazzas with a wonderful dancer called Giampiero and I sang with the orchestra and I longed for G to fall in love with me. I made friends that are still in my life today and G is my daughter's godfather. I think the film and its score probably have echoes of my own life there. I understand it even without the subtitles as I speak Italian. I actually often enjoy foreign language films though.

Hang out?

I was learning to be a reflexologist a few years ago in my favourite zone in London, Covent Garden (it was here that I first discovered theatre, dance studios and dancers). I discovered The Poetry Place in Betterton St. It is very 'off the beaten track' and serves tasty light meals and drinks. It is filled with poetry books and downstairs they have poetry recitals. But I just liked being there. I must go back! Hanging out in London is not really something I do to be honest. I am either rehearsing, performing or at home with my family as much as I can be.


Easy. Zedel. It really is my favourite any time of day! Everything is delicious. A typical order for me would be the celeriac remoulade, salade nicoise and share a tarte tatin with a coffee. I doubt it would cost more than about £20 which means I can afford to invite lots of friends there! No doubt after singing at their Crazy Coqs next week I will be enjoying after show supper there – can't wait!

Holiday Destination?

Italy, France… Prealps and Alps, St Petersburg and Taiwan. I have told you about Italy. My parents now live in France. So does my sister Emma who is a wonderful dancer. Because they are out there I try to take my holidays there. My husband and I were moved to buy a little 'hut' up in the Alps a few years ago and we have enjoyed lots of skiing there and also summer walks and swimming in beautiful mountain lakes.

Recently I was touring China, Russia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore with The Globe production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. It really was the 'Dream' tour in every way. My favourites, and places I would gladly return to, are St Petersburg for leisurely walks along their canal lined streets and South Taiwan where we swam in the most beautiful Pacific! Also the South China Sea: divine.

I would love to go up to Skye and also visit the Summer Isles in Scotland and Sark… when they have the folk music festival and the film festival… is that right?!

Play/Musical and Actor/Actress?

I am an actor. I am also a fan of theatre of all sorts. To pick one person or show is asking the impossible of me! I love so many performers. Old, young, known, unknown… the standard of performance in London is exceptional! There is such a great energy in the theatre right now. I honestly love the work of too many people to select. Sorry!

Oh, ok… Jamie Parker, all of the Strallens and Langfords, and Michael Sheen.


Well I do love the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Also the Globe. I have had a soft spot for the Palace Theatre for years… but then I immediately feel sorry I didn't say the Palladium!? Oh dear… I just love them all! I am about to perform for the first time at The Young Vic which I am over the moon about. The Alexandrinsky in St Petersburg is also absolutely gorgeous to perform in; we were there for three nights with The Dream.

Song to sing?

"There's No Business Like Show Business": recently as we began the magical one night performance of A Little Night Music at the Palace, Bonnie Langford's little girl Bibi went on to begin the show and Bonnie stood by me in the wings quietly weeping with pride. She then proceeded to help me during a quick change. I thanked her profusely… "we all know what it's like" she said, and I thought yes, and it just got better.

"Alfie": This is my little boys name and I first sang the song for,him. I now sing it because the words and melody are gorgeous.


When I was working with Wayne Sleep years ago he flew us to Munich to perform. When we arrived we found out that the Berlin Wall had come down. Wayne flew me with him immediately to Berlin and we walked along the wall together. The soldiers were sitting on the wall chatting to us, smoking and laughing – it was a wonderful atmosphere. At a certain point Wayne asked me if I was ok. I said: "I am great, just my feet are so cold!". He looked down at my sling back suede heels and said "you're not wearing any socks! Here let's swap!" He took off his lovely thick walking boots and woolly socks and made me put them on whilst he edged effortlessly into my sling backs. We walked on together. Me now in comfort and he… well he handled it beautifully and I seem to remember us going into a cafe like that and getting terrible giggles! I will love him forever!

Janie Dee is performing at Crazy Coqs from 10-14 March 2015