"We must love what we are doing. When we imagine with love, we create what we imagine and the creation has real and lasting value"
Fiona Bentley, 1950, aged 20
Fiona Bentley Productions has its roots in 1959 when its pioneering founder, Fiona Bentley acquired the rights to the Beatrix Potter stories and persuaded Vivian Leigh to narrate them. Fiona had the novel idea of creating musical adaptations and commissioned David Croft and Cyril Ornadel to compose songs and lyrics for well known artists to perform. This fresh and creative approach, using leading professionals, was to be the hallmark of over 150 records recorded and produced by Fiona over the next 10 years.
Fiona’s partners were the acclaimed Musical Director, composer and conductor, Cyril Ornadel and politician and sportsman, Lord Morys Aberdare, K.B.E. Under the labels Fiona Bentley Productions and F.C.M. (standing for Fiona, Cyril and Morys) their recordings included further adaptations of children’s stories, show albums using their own orchestra, the New World Show Orchestra, the Living Bible narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier and The Living Shakespeare (26 plays).
"Anyone who was lucky enough to be a part of her (Fiona's) many incredibly successful enterprises, benefitted far beyond their wildest dreams" Cyril Ornadel 'Reach For The Moon'
Lord Morys Aberdare, Fiona Bentley, Cyril Ornadel, c. late 50’s
Fiona Bentley holding vinyl sleeve for the ‘Living Bible’ - an F.C.M. Production, c.1962