2000

Re: Authentic Performance

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1706  Friday, 8 September 2000.

[1]     From:   Sam Small <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 07 Sep 2000 15:49:51 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1700 Re: Authentic Performance

[2]     From:   Sam Small <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 07 Sep 2000 15:49:51 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1700 Re: Authentic Performance

[3]     From:   Sam Small <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 07 Sep 2000 15:49:51 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1700 Re: Authentic Performance

[4]     From:   Arthur D L Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 8 Sep 2000 10:37:07 +0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1700 Re: Authentic Performance


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sam Small <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 07 Sep 2000 15:49:51 +0100
Subject: 11.1700 Re: Authentic Performance
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1700 Re: Authentic Performance

> Bob Haas wrote:

> RP?  Right perfect?  Could you elaborate, Sam?  I don't think I've heard
> this one.

The question of accents in England (not so in Scotland, Ireland or
Wales) is very complex and can occasionally get extremely vindictive.
Around 30 years ago the Director General of the BBC, (Lord) John Reith ,
decided that the current accent used on the BBC was no longer
representative.  Indeed, if you listen to old English films before 1960,
the middle class characters sound like 19th century royalty.  BBC
newsreaders and 'announcers' were pretty much the same.

Reith decided to go for a clear, slow pronunciation based on the current
southern (or London) accent.  The vowels in particular were toned down
and absurdities like trilling the Rs were dropped.   (Noel Coward did
this all the time in the 30s) .  The new accent was called "Received
Pronunciation", or RP.   Reith said it "offended the least number of
people".

However, it left the people in the north of England speaking "wrongly".
In fact their accent in nearer to the American accent - such as the A in
"castle" is spoken like the A in "apple".  The American version is a
sort of double vowel of the same thing - "ca-a-stle".  The linguist,
Professor John Honey, estimates that a mere 3% of English people speak
with an RP accent, it being mostly used in the media.  Patrick Stewart
and Judi Dench have RP accents.  Unfortunately this artificial accent
has become the "standard" for all actors and actresses, certainly in
England.  Even Michael Caine's perpetual working class accent has done
little to break the grip of RP.

What always bothers me when listening to Shakespeare performed by the
English is that the RP pronunciation is yet another artificial stage
away from the original - and away from the people. (We just don't speak
like that- honest!)  If you follow the link you can see my poor
Shakespeare project but can hear me reading parts of some sonnets with a
southern English country accent.  To many listeners in England my fault
is not my talent, but my accent.

http://www.simplescreens.co.uk/shorts/

SAM SMALL

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sam Small <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 07 Sep 2000 19:51:22 +0100
Subject: Authentic Performance
Comment:        SHK 11.1698 Authentic Performance

Terence Hawkes wrote:

Did Shakespeare's words sound 'less pompous?' asks Sam Small. Perhaps
'pompous' is the wrong word. They would certainly have sounded less
portentous. After all, the original audience would have been listening
to the work of a promising, indeed interesting English playwright called
Shakespeare. On the other hand, we're confronted by the effusions of the
creature 'Shakespeare': universal lion-hearted, golden-thighed genius,
and dispenser of industrial-strength wisdom about the way things are,
always have been, and always will be.

Quite so, Terence.  This further piece of translation can radically
affect players, directors and audiences when confronted with the "text
of texts".  A similar thing happened to the Beatles.  In 1963 they were
a cheeky art college band who wrote catchy tunes; now revered as great
composers of the 20th century.  The great danger is that Shakespeare is
now so lauded that he may actually don the Emperor's new clothes.  The
future might be interesting.

SAM SMALL

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sam Small <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 07 Sep 2000 20:08:33 +0100
Subject:        Authentic Performance

Dale Lyles wrote:

I am not the expert in history of our language, but the Sonnet 14
non-rhymes Sam Small refers to are not that hard a nut to crack.  'Wind'
rhymes/rhymed with 'kind,' as per a footnote in the *Oxford Book of
Carols for Choirs I*.  'Convert' rhymes with 'art.'  This is just a
couple of examples of how pronunciation has changed over the last four
hundred years.  Others can point us to appropriate sources for this
information.

As for astronomy/quality, I think the answer is that we're not dealing
with W.S. Gilbert here.  Shakespeare is just rhyming the last syllable,
as odd as that may be to our ears.

Thank you Dale.  You are so right.  At least in part.  "Wind" (as in
blowing air) 400 years ago really did rhyme with "bind" - I can accept
"astromom-ee" and qualit-ee" - but "convert" does not rhyme with "art".
Shakespeare - like pretty much anyone else - rhymes the last vowel
sound.  The latter pairing do not.  A worse anomaly is in sonnet 154 -
the last couplet rhymes "love" and "prove".  I have tried all modern
English accents and none fit this one.

SAM

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Arthur D L Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Sep 2000 10:37:07 +0800
Subject: 11.1700 Re: Authentic Performance
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1700 Re: Authentic Performance

RP = 'received pronunciation', currently defined (usually) as Thames
Valley educated speech, formerly 'BBC English'.

Arthur Lindley

Re: Antony and Cleopatra

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1705  Friday, 8 September 2000.

[1]     From:   L. Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 7 Sep 2000 07:44:02 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1704 Antony and Cleopatra

[2]     From:   Marvin Rosenberg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 07 Sep 2000 13:06:58 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1704 Antony and Cleopatra

[3]     From:   Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 7 Sep 2000 22:15:34 +0100
        Subj:   SHK 11.1704 Antony and Cleo

[4]     From:   Herman Gollob <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 7 Sep 2000 17:16:46 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1704 Antony and Cleopatr

[5]     From:   Paul E. Doniger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 7 Sep 2000 17:21:40 -0700
        Subj:   Fw: SHK 11.1704 Antony and Cleopatr


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           L. Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 7 Sep 2000 07:44:02 -0500
Subject: 11.1704 Antony and Cleopatra
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1704 Antony and Cleopatra

While we are on the subject of Antony and Cleopatra, will someone please
tell me what Caesar (and Shakespeare) has in mind with Caesar's last
speech in V, i. ?  (At first blush, it looks like a public-relations
ploy, but a) this is not Caesar's style, and b) what need would there
have been for such if it were?).

L. Swilley

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marvin Rosenberg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 07 Sep 2000 13:06:58 -0700
Subject: 11.1704 Antony and Cleopatra
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1704 Antony and Cleopatra

>Would any member have a recommendation for a video of a performance of
>Antony and Cleopatra and where it could be purchased.  I'm not
>interested in an adaptation.  The closer to the complete text the
>better.
>
>Regards,
>Scott Crozier

There is  an A&C among the BBC  TV  series.,  Why do you  want it? Are
you going to direct it?  Cheers!

Marvin Rosenberg

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 7 Sep 2000 22:15:34 +0100
Subject: Antony and Cleopatra
Comment:        SHK 11.1704 Antony and Cleopatra

Richard Johnson / Janet Suzman (RSC)

Alan Bates / Helen Mirren (NT) (recent - some thought it a flop.

Antony Hopkins has done Ant with someone, but....? who?

The BBC Bardathon way back had a decent but not great one - can't recall
cast. BUT given the probs with acquiring BBC videos in USA, maybe that's
not a starter?

RSC website is a start.

Stuart Manger

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Herman Gollob <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 7 Sep 2000 17:16:46 -0400
Subject: 11.1704 Antony and Cleopatra
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1704 Antony and Cleopatra

The best video performance of A&C is Trevor Nunn's 1973 version,
starring Richard Johnson, Janet Suzman, Patrick Stewart and Corin
Redgrave.  It's the finest production of this play I've ever seen-- a
remarkable piece of work.  You can order it through most video
catalogues, starting with Movie Unlimited.

Herman Gollob

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul E. Doniger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 7 Sep 2000 17:21:40 -0700
Subject: 11.1704 Antony and Cleopatra
Comment:        Fw: SHK 11.1704 Antony and Cleopatra

Try the BBC series version of _A & C_. It's relatively complete, not an
adaptation. It also boasts two superb actors in the title roles: Jane
Lapotaire (one of the great classical actresses of our time, she's also
my choice for best Lady Macbeth ever -- in the same series) and Colin
Blakely. Blakely is a decidedly mature Antony -- as the role was
written, not as it might be "adapted" in some romanticized productions.
A good choice, this video, but an expensive one (if anyone knows of a
discounted price on this series, let me know!). Good luck,

Paul E. Doniger
The Gilbert School

Shenandoah Shakespeare in Seattle Area

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1703  Thursday, 7 September 2000.

From:           Amy Ulen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 6 Sep 2000 21:33:40 -0700
Subject:        Shenandoah Shakespeare in Seattle Area

Greetings SHAKSPEReans!

The Shenandoah Shakespeare Express will be performing Much Ado About
Nothing at Clover Park High School in Lakewood, WA, on Friday, September
15 at 7:00pm.  Lakewood is located south of Tacoma, so if you are in the
Seattle area, I would love to meet you at the performance.  Tickets are
$10 and all proceeds will be used for our upcoming season.  Seating is
limited to 500, so please send me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or leave a message at 253.589.7635 to reserve your seats.  If you
haven't seen the SSE yet, you are in for a real treat!  I have seen them
perform twice (Folger Shakespeare Library and Shakespeare & Company) and
was overjoyed when I found out they were extending their tour this
year.  Visit their website at http://ishakespeare.com/ to learn more.

Sincerely,
Amy Ulen

Antony and Cleopatra

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1704  Thursday, 7 September 2000.

From:           Scott Crozier <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 7 Sep 2000 17:21:48 +1000
Subject:        Antony and Cleopatra

Would any member have a recommendation for a video of a performance of
Antony and Cleopatra and where it could be purchased.  I'm not
interested in an adaptation.  The closer to the complete text the
better.

Regards,
Scott Crozier

"Elizabeth Rex" at the Stratford Ontario Festival

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1702  Thursday, 7 September 2000.

From:           Pat Cornett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 06 Sep 2000 15:56:16 -0400
Subject:        "Elizabeth Rex" at the Stratford Ontario Festival

I've been temporarily off the list for over a month, so I don't know if
members have been discussing the Stratford Ontario production of Timothy
Finley's Elizabeth Rex or not.

But I'd be very interested in hearing comments from those who've seen
the production. My friend and I saw it about a month ago and were quite
taken with it, especially the acting of Brent Carver and Diane D'Aquila
as Elizabeth.  In fact, I'm seeing it again in about two weeks and
expect to enjoy it even more.

Pat Cornett
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Search

Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.