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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: June ::
Romeo and Juliet Original Pronunciation
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1365  Wednesday, 30 June 2004

[1]     From:   HR Greenberg <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 29 Jun 2004 09:31:52 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1351 Romeo and Juliet Original Pronunciation

[2]     From:   Kathy Dent <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 29 Jun 2004 14:39:41 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.1360 Romeo and Juliet Original Pronunciation

[3]     From:   Roger Gross <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 29 Jun 2004 12:16:21 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1360 Romeo and Juliet Original Pronunciation


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           HR Greenberg <
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Date:           Tuesday, 29 Jun 2004 09:31:52 EDT
Subject: 15.1351 Romeo and Juliet Original Pronunciation
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1351 Romeo and Juliet Original Pronunciation

It seems to me that these productions are very much in the ear of the
interpreter, supposedly derived from rhythm and rhyming analyses. I
remember Henry V being played with an Irish brogue, or perhaps another
play, derived from assonances between words like raisin equals reason etc

HR Greenberg

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kathy Dent <
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Date:           Tuesday, 29 Jun 2004 14:39:41 +0100
Subject: 15.1360 Romeo and Juliet Original Pronunciation
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1360 Romeo and Juliet Original Pronunciation

I am curious about this concept.  Today we have a wide range of British
regional accents.  Are the producers of this performance proposing that
there was a homogeneous accent in Shakespeare's time?  Are they doing a
version of Elizabethan R.P. (i.e. what they think was the authorized
metropolitan speech pattern)?  Surely the Lord Chamberlain's / King's
Men drew their performers from a wide enough geographical area for the
notion of 'original pronunciation' to be a bit of a speculative exercise.

Kathy Dent

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roger Gross <
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Date:           Tuesday, 29 Jun 2004 12:16:21 -0500
Subject: 15.1360 Romeo and Juliet Original Pronunciation
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1360 Romeo and Juliet Original Pronunciation

I would like to hear more about the "original pronunciation"
performances at the Globe.  One line in Ben Spiller's post puzzled me.
I'm having trouble imagining how use of the original pronunciation would
cause the actors "to smother their own voices."   As I understand EM
pronunciation, there ought to have been a more open, vigorous, (forgive
me) "virile" sound than what we usually hear from modern actors.

Can anyone tell us in more detail what they actually did?  Whose version
of  EM speech did they use?    Who were the actors?  Who was behind the
project?    Did you feel the actors were sufficiently prepared and
adequately skilled?  And Ben, can you clarify "smothered"?

I've experimented with "original pronunciation" in scene work and my
conviction is that the energy level of performance was greatly lifted by
the language "finding its home," as it were.  I've longed to find a
production setting in which I could risk doing a whole show that way.
It will take a producer with real nerve.

Roger Gross

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