The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1216 Tuesday, 19 July 2005
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 23:42:14 -0700
Subject: Troilus & Cressida as Originally Spoken
'Authentic' Shakespeare on Stage
BBC NEWS, 2005/07/18 16:50:34 GMT
The Globe Theatre in London is to stage an entire Shakespeare play in
its original pronunciation.
Actors in Troilus and Cressida will recite their lines with accents
believed to have been heard on the stage during Elizabethan times.
It follows on from brief experiments with original pronunciation during
the company's run of Romeo and Juliet in June 2004.
The six-week run of Troilus and Cressida begins on 24 August.
The production is directed by Giles Block, who has pioneered the search
for natural, spontaneous speech of Shakespeare's works.
He told the BBC News website the accent was a mix of West Country,
Irish, and northern British, as well as sounds heard in modern Australia
"I was very sceptical at first - aren't we always trying to make
Shakespeare more accessible and more approachable? he said.
"Within 20 seconds I knew it was not going to be difficult to understand."
The Globe is being advised by David Crystal, a world expert in language
and phonetics and an honorary professor at the University of Wales, in
Mr Block said he was "surprised and delighted" by how quickly the
production's 14 actors had picked up the accent.
One example of the different sound is the word "my" in the context of
someone saying "my son", which sounds more like "me son" in the original
He said audiences will benefit in several ways from the experience.
"First and foremost they will be put back in touch with the richness of
"It brings out many of the rhymes and puns we have lost over the years,
as well as the street savviness and colloquialness of the language.
"I think there is a fascination with the concept. Certainly, if I could
go back in time it would be to see Shakespeare performed in his day."
The Globe said it will be the first time in more than 350 years a
professional company has staged such an event.
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