Vivienne McKee - a biography
Vivienne was born in England and brought up in Britain, France, The USA and Australia. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree (Cand.Mag.)in Drama and French from Bristol University and then graduated as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. In between early acting jobs she also qualified as a Blue Badge London Tourist guide.
Vivienne was very successful in Britain in theatre, television (including such long-running TV series as "Coronation Street" and "Crossroads") and films (including "Slipper and the Rose" with Richard Chamberlain) before marrying a Dane and moving to Copenhagen. She began her Danish career at the Danish Royal Theatre as assistant to the renowned Danish theatre director Sam Besekow. She also worked as an actor, initially playing roles which did not require a perfect danish accent! CLICK TO SEE FULL CV
The English Theatre of Copenhagen
In 1982, together with her husband as administrator, Vivienne established her own theatre company, the English Theatre of Copenhagen - calling it THE LONDON TOAST THEATRE, with the specific aim of providing English-speaking theatre productions to a Danish audience. The theatre company is now today a well-knoown and highly respected part the professional Danish Theatre world. Vivienne directs or acts, (or both!) in all of the English language productions produced by her theatre company. Shows which range from Shakespeare to new modern writers and to light entertainment.
The Crazy Christmas Cabaret
Vivienne has really made her mark in Denmark with her popular Christmas shows called The Crazy Christmas Cabarets. These shows, with their "Monty Python-style" anarchic humour, have gained a cult-like status in Denmark and southern Sweden and even further afield. Every year Vivienne writes a new plot based on a well-known tale or theme, and she directs and also performs in these comedies every year. She started the cult shows in 1982 in a tiny studio theatre in the heart of Copenhagen and now - more than twenty years later - the shows have become the most popular musical comedies in Denmark at Christmas - with sold-out performances playing to more than 50,000 a year. These spectacular and hilariously funny shows are presented every year in the magnificent Glassalen Theatre (Glass Hall) in Tivoli Gardens as part of the traditional Danish Christmas. The show is advertised as "the only crazy way to enjoy Christmas" and many Danes believe that Christmas is not complete if they have not managed to get a ticket to see The Crazy Christmas Cabaret.
Other writing and directing
Apart from entertaining the Danish audiences with her own shows in English, Vivienne also writes and directs plays in danish for Danish theatre companies and for television. She wrote a show based on George Gershwin's life and music - "S'WONDERFUL" and Cole Porter's life and music - "OH BABY IT'S COLE!" which she also directed for television - and which led to a highly successful national tour with an all-star danish cast . She has written five large-scale musicals (book, dialogue and song lyrics) all of which have been on nationwide tours - one of which is based on a fictitious meeting between H.C. Andersen and Søren Kierkegaard, which was commissioned as part of the Danish Cultural Year in 1996. In 1992 Vivienne, was awarded the Herman Bang Award for her "contribution to Danish Theatre". Most recently Vivienne has written and performed a one-woman show based on the legendary twentieth century war correspondent and third wife of Ernest Hemingway - Martha Gellhorn - entitled "DON'T MENTION HEMINGWAY" which received excellent critical praise and will be touring to International Festivals.
Vivienne's energy is well-known and therefore she has not simply confined herself to writing and producing for the theatre Her voice-over company SPEAKER'S CORNER provides English and American voices for commercials, cartoons and documentaries. She herself provides the voice for, amongst others, Diana, the boss in the HITMAN computer game series, the information voice on ORANGE telephones and for the DSB trains all over Denmark and Sweden.
Vivienne has also created a company which can provide entertainment for companies, corporate events and international conferences in the form of Murder Mystery evenings and weekends with her team of comedy impro actors; stand-up comedy shows; tailor-made corporate entertainment and team-building for international events.
Stand Up Comedy
In the Danish business world, Vivienne's own stand-up comedy solo show "Vivienne Tells All" and her skill as a compere/presenter is popular for gala dinners, product launches,, conferences, Christmas parties and other large events. She explains in a humorous way what makes Danes "tick" and thereby helps foreign guests to reach a better understanding of their hosts!
Vivienne lives in London and Copenhagen and has a passion for travelling and experiencing different cultures and meeting people from all over the world. As she says: "Life is not a rehearsal - it's a one-off continuous show - so go for it ! "
Vivienne McKee is guest at Henrik Lyding in DK4' s ”Teatermøde”.
Vivienne as Goodwill Ambassador for More International Export Talents
1968-71 Bristol University – Teatervidenskab og Fransk
1971-72 Bristol Old Vic Theatre School (én af de fire store i England)
1973-75 Arbejder ekstensivt i reperoireteatre i bl. a. Coventry, Bristol og London.
1975-79 Arbejder meget på TV, bl.a. hovedrolle i kriminalserien ”The XYY Man”, samt diverse dramatiske TV-roller i bl.a. ”A horseman riding by” og på film: prinsessen i Bryan Forbes’ Askepothistorie ”The Slipper and the Rose” overfor Richard Chamberlain. På teater bl.a. hovedrolle i Mike Leighs samfundssatiriske ”Abigails Party”.
1980-82 Flytter til København og får barn. Arbejder som assistent for Sam Besekow på Det Kgl. Teater og har roller i ”Historien om en hest” og ”Jøsses Piger”.
1982-2022 Grundlægger London Toast Theatre og skriver, instruerer og spiller hvert år ”The Crazy Christmas Cabaret”.
1983 ”Decadence” – Stephen Berkoff – Comediehuset – instruktør Niels Skjoldager
1883/84 ”Man Friday” – Adrian Mitchell – Københavneren/Arbejdermuseet/Turné – skuespiller/instruktør Vivienne McKee
1984 ”Lie Detectors” – Natalie Meltzer – Betty Nansen – instruktør Vivienne McKee
1984 “When the wind blows” Raymond Briggs – Saltlageret – Peter Bensted/Ves Harper
1985 “Annie Wobbler” – Arnold Wesker – Comediehuset – Emmet Feigenberg
1985 ”Woza Albert” – Percy Mtwa – Café Teatret – Peter Bensted/Vivienne McKee
1986 ”Game, Set & Match” – Harold Pinter, Mike Leigh, Alan Ayckbourn m.fl.,sammensat af Vivienne McKee, som også instruerer og spiller.
1987 ”Insignificance” – Terry Johson – Comediehuset – instruktør Vivienne McKee
1987 “Swimmingpools I krig” – Yves Navarre – Comediehuset – instruktør Vivienne McKee
1989 “Between East and West” – Richard Nelson – Betty Nansen – instruktør Paul Spence
1991 “Table Manners” – Alan Ayckbourn – Daddy’s – instruktør Paul Spence
1992 “As you like it” – William Shakespeare – Kanonhallen – Kevin Robinson. Vivienne spiller Rosalind.
1993 “Macbeth” – William Shakespere – Kridthuset – instruktør og Lady Macbeth Vivienne McKee
1994 “Betrayal” – Harold Pinter – Daddy’s – instruktør Paul Spence
1995 “Intimate Exchanges 1” – Alan Ayckbourn - Teaterkælderen, Det Ny Teater – skuespiller/instruktør Vivienne McKee
1997 ”Intimate Exchanges 2” – Alan Ayckbourn – Teaterkælderen – skuespiller/instruktør Vivienne McKee
1998 ”Dead Serious” – Doug Greenall – Teaterkælderen – instruktør Vivienne McKee
1999 “Conversations in Hollywood” – Rob Long - Styrh&Kjær Magstræde – director Niels Anders Torn
2000 “Educating Rita” – Willy Russell – Styrh&Kjær – instructor Vivienne McKee
2001”Mac’nBeth” – W. Shakespeare, bearbejdet, instrueret og spillet Vivienne McKee - Styrh&Kjær
2002 ”Game, Set & Match” – som ovenfor – Styrh & Kjær
2004 ”The Importance of being Earnest” – Oscar Wilde – Glassalen, Tivoli/Edinburgh – instruktør og spiller Vivienne McKee
2006 “Don’t mention Hemmingway” – Vivienne McKee – Folketeatret – one woman show om Martha Gelhorn, krigskorrespondent.
2010 “Viva Vivienne” – diverse – Glassalen – autobiografisk one woman sow
2014 “Don’t mention Hemmingway” – som ovenfor – Teatret v. Sorte Hest
2014 ”Copenhagen” – Michael Frayn, bearbejdet af Vivienne McKee m. forfatterens tilladelse – Aarhus Universitet/Haven ved Carlsbergs Æresbolig. 2016 "Shakespeare's ghost" nyskrevet skuespil af Vivienne McKee uropført på Teatret ved Sorte Hest 2017 "Hamlet" Queen Gertrude på Kronborg Castle 2019 "Baby - It's Cole" Cole Porter cabaret skrevet og instrueret af Vivienne McKee
2022 "Shirley Valentine" Teatret ved Sorte Hest
2020 Årets modtager af Teaterflisen på Frederiksberg Alle https://frederiksbergfonden.dk/2020/12/15/vivienne-mckee-modtog-teaterflisen/