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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: November ::
Re: Performance Styles and The Prince of Wales
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0888. Thursday, 10 November 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Fran Teague <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 08 Nov 95 18:14:16 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0883  Re: Performance Styles
 
(2)     From:   Harry Hill <HILHAR@CONU2.BITNET>
        Date:   Thursday, 09 Nov 1995 07:09:23 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0883  Re: Performance Styles
 
(3)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 08 Nov 1995 22:42:33 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0883  Re: Performance Styles
 
(4)     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Friday, 10 Nov 1995 12:37:46 GMT
        Subj:   Re: De-Canonization
 
(5)     From:   Valerie Gager <
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        Date:   Friday, 10 Nov 95 12:19:00 PST
        Subj:   The Prince of Wales
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Fran Teague <
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Date:           Wednesday, 08 Nov 95 18:14:16 EST
Subject: 6.0883  Re: Performance Styles
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0883  Re: Performance Styles
 
Hooray for David Jackson and his remarks on acting style. He's absolutely right
that a good actor will do a careful job intellectually as well as a daring job
emotionally no matter what sort of training or where that actor was born. It's
also refreshing to be reminded of the rich variety of interpretations that
performers bring into being.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <HILHAR@CONU2.BITNET>
Date:           Thursday, 09 Nov 1995 07:09:23 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0883  Re: Performance Styles
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0883  Re: Performance Styles
 
Of course, British actors were pretty suspect in Canada for some years as
reminders of an elitist colonial past where English accents, withg all their
strange and unfulfilled vowels that were basically an imitation of Buckingham
Palace and BBC, were maintained or fabricated north of the US.
 
I remember being told, when auditioning for the flute-voiced Hungarian/Canadian
John Hirsch at Stratford, not "to do that rolling rrrr stuff", a particular
bete noire with him. Since that brave day, it has been my accent [Aberdeen
through Edinburgh and Southwark with the inverted R of the New World] that has
made directors hesitate before taking the casting plunge. Yesterday I began
dubbing a German television series into the "merkin" we are all in those
studios encouraged to talk, it was decided that my regular character, an obese
captain of a customs vessel, would be safer in some accent between Poland and
Liechtenstein, as my occasional Scotish vowel [the oo is the hardest for me. by
the way] would be likely to confuse the viewing public in the U.S.
 
Onstage, however, we have perhaps reached the point that "minority" colours and
accents who are part of the fabric of our society belong after all in
indigenous and other drama. I recall John Barton telling me some years ago how
delighted he was, when in Texas directing and teaching, to be able to produce
the plays with such a variety o ways of talking. The one thing lacking, and
that he had found at home inn England, was an instinctive ability to respond
emotionally to the phonetic values of the characters' lines wherein their souls
are to be found. Really no matter what one's melody is, if one *pronounces* it
all, one is more than half way there.
 
It's the missing letters caused by sloppy mouths that cause sloppy acting in
any accent.
 
        Harry Hill
        Montreal
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Wednesday, 08 Nov 1995 22:42:33 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0883  Re: Performance Styles
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0883  Re: Performance Styles
 
Harry Hill says that there is a CD of Prince Chuck and Sir Bob as Hal and
Falstaff in the Tavern Scene.  Has anyone said if and/or where this CD is
available to the general public?  This sounds like something I'd like to have
for parties.
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Friday, 10 Nov 1995 12:37:46 GMT
Subject:        Re: De-Canonization
 
The Prince of Wales performing Shakespeare? This is some vulgar Cultural
Materialist joke, surely. Will they stop at nothing? At least we can be sure
that any recordings would have been made for private use and not for commercial
purposes.
 
Terence Hawkes
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Valerie Gager <
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Date:           Friday, 10 Nov 95 12:19:00 PST
Subject:        The Prince of Wales
 
James Schaefer asks whether anything has been written by members of the royal
family concerning how they react to dramas about kings of England.  I was
present at the 28th Annual Shakespeare Birthday Lecture at the Swan Theatre in
Stratford-upon-Avon on 22 April 1991, where His Royal Highness The Prince of
Wales was the speaker.  His topic was Shakespeare's place in the national
curriculum.  I remember he began by saying that *Julius Caesar* had not
particularly impressed him as a student at Gordonstoun, but he attributed this
to being a late developer.  He went on to say that Henry V's speech before the
battle of Agincourt regarding the burdens of monarchy had grown to have strong
resonances for him.
 
I believe the University of Birmingham published the text of this lecture in
pamphlet form.  The prince's remarks on education, characterized by reporters
as being the latest in a series of crusades that began with his attack on
modern architects, were also widely covered in the press at the time.
 

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