Sir Michael Palin, Dame Harriet Walter and Juliet Stevenson are among the stars who have joined together to record Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, with each performer reading one minute of the novel.
Some 165 actors and voice artists have taken part in the Wonderland challenge, including Gyles Brandreth, Ruth Jones, Christopher Biggins, John Challis, Henry Goodman, Angela Griffin, Patricia Hodge, Alex Jennings, Griff Rhys Jones, Phyllis Logan, Kevin McNally, and eight cast members of The Archers.
Five one-minute recordings will be released each day on until the entire novel is available.
The first 10 minutes were released on Monday, featuring Hayley-Marie Axe, Claudie Barba, Sarah Borges, Ellie Darvill, Brenda Longman, Julie Love, Catherine Millsom, Brad Shaw, Helen Suzanne, and Ferha Syed.
The challenge was created by voice artist Brad Shaw, who is in self-isolation due to a stage three melanoma, to bring actors and voice artists together for a creative project, and to give back to the frontline NHS workers.
Shaw said: “As someone with ‘underlying health conditions’, I’m one of the 12-week isolators.
“To stop myself going mad I learnt basic web design and launched isomeet.co.uk as a social and information hub during isolation.
“I also wanted to do something joyful to get me through, and having been a voice actor for many years, I wondered if I could persuade other pro voice artists to record a minute of Alice in Wonderland and donate a tenner to the NHS.
“Within days, I had filled all 165 slots and a host of wonderfully talented high-profile actors also agreed to join. Each time I listen to a recording, I fill up a bit, they are all wonderful. It’s been a fabulous life-affirming project. I can’t wait for the public to hear it.”
The recordings will be released each day on www.wonderlandchallenge.com