Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Time for some Summer Wine

A brief but very useful and enjoyable rehearsal this evening. The lovely Jen Dewsbury, who has a Higgins-scale comprehension of all matters dialect, took us through a succession of exercises to help us contain our voices within the West Riding of Yorkshire - rather than wandering off all over the British Isles. Jenny's recommendation was that we make the voices of the characters in the wonderful Last of the Summer Wine our inspiration. Well, that's not exactly a hardship.

We each found ourselves a phrase - from the script or otherwise - that we could use to 'tune in' to the voices required. Keira's favourite is the fabulous word 'thing-umpty-ite' (Joe's equivalent of 'what's-her-name'). Mine is 'I don't act silly, but my face gets so red...' (said when taking an extra glass of port. No comments, please, about the verity of this statement.)

We talked about keeping the Yorkshire accent during rehearsals when we're off stage as well as on, and it's surprising how easily one slips into doing that anyway; and the effect of all fourteen of us (well, except for Gerald, who is of course a 'la-di-dah Southerner') diving into the world of Compo and co. is rather infectious.

It was interesting to see the difference made by face shapes. In the case of Yorkshire, a pulled-back head (giving one a rather unflattering double chin - great) and 'loose cheeks' (that's the ones on the face, before I get any rude comments) start to give the right sound. Actually, the double-chin look is pure Nora Batty anyway.

Photo: The Telegraph

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