Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 949. Thursday, 16 December 1993.
Date: Wednesday, 15 Dec 1993 14:51:24 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 4.0941 Re: Verse Speaking
Comment: RE: SHK 4.0941 Re: Verse Speaking
While I have heard little about Sir Peter's approach to verse speaking other
than he is meticulous, some insight may be gained from works by his former
colleagues John Barton and Cicely Berry. Hall's long association with Barton
at Cambridge and the RSC and Berry's longtime direction of voice at the RSC
probably reflect a good bit of Hall's approach (I think they were mutually
influential). Barton's _Playing Shakespeare_ video series and book, as well as
Berry's _The Actor and the Text_ are wonderfully helpful works in their own
right. Linklater (_Freeing Shakespeare's Voice_) worked at the RSC and has
long been associated with Tina Packer at Shakespeare and Co.; Packer was an
actress with the RSC and a "student" of Barton's; Packer has said that Shakes &
Co. work is closer to Barton's teaching than Barton's own work with verse.
While the above three works are probably the best available now, several other
can be helpful: Brubaker's _Shakespeare Aloud_ (his strict construction of the
verse serves as a stimulating antithesis to Barton's flexibility, although they
actually do not contradict each other), Robert Cohen's _Acting in Shakespeare_,
Robert Barton's _Style for Actors_, and Delbert Spain's expansive _Shakespeare
Sounded Soundly_, among many. These all contain useful material; they, also,
frequently contradict one another. Test in the rehearsal hall; synthesize.
And great fun and stimulation can be gained from Neil Freeman's brief, but
brilliant, _Introduction to the Folio Scripts_.