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Meet our longest-serving Examiner (with the longest name!)
Each term in Voiceover we’ll be profiling the LAMDA Examiners who make up our panel. We start with one of our longest-serving Examiners – Chevalier Dr. Jeffrey du Cann Grenfell-Hill.
How long have you examined with LAMDA?
I have been examining for LAMDA Examinations for 45 years. Prior to becoming a LAMDA Examiner, I trained for the theatre at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and was chosen as the student director for my final year. In the autumn of 1972, just three years after leaving drama school, I was invited by LAMDA to join the board of Examiners – I was the youngest teacher ever to be asked, as the then Principle of LAMDA, Brian Tilston, wanted to have younger Examiners on the board.
Outside of my work with LAMDA, I adjudicate and write monologues and duologues for young actors.
Why did you want to be a LAMDA Examiner?
At that time, you were invited to be an Examiner with LAMDA. When I received the invitation, I thought it was an excellent opportunity to see other teachers’ work.
Where has your work with LAMDA taken you?
I have travelled all over the UK to examine for LAMDA. My very first international centre was Singapore. Since then I have examined in China, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Malta, Brussels, Prague and the South of France.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
Vienna – it’s at the heart of Europe. The Hapsburgs have always fascinated me. The city is full of wonderful buildings, museums and art galleries and, of course, there’s always a music concert to go to or an opera to see!
Tell us your favourite Shakespearean poem/play/sonnet?
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as it’s full of magic, fun, romance and has a happy ending.
Name three of the best books on your bookshelf?
Black Tudors: The Untold Story by Miranda Kaufmann; One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson and The Making of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr..
What was the last photo you took?
A picture of my two London-based grandchildren – Sophie aged 7 and William aged 4.
What are your desert island essentials?
A huge crate of factor 50 sunscreen, as I had two red-headed grandmothers and burn easily (though hopefully I will be rescued before the sunscreen runs out!); a tent to shelter under and the collected works of Oscar Wilde to remind me of civilization, although a fishing rod maybe more useful than a book!
Describe your favourite moment of last year?
Dining on a terrace, while over-looking the Bay of Bengal in the old French colonial town of Pondicherry and remembering that my father sailed that bay in 1945.
What advice do you have for Learners preparing for their LAMDA examination?
Enjoy learning and sharing the words of our wonderfully rich English language.
Published on 22 February 2018.