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Shakespeare's Original Pronunciation: Speeches and Scenes Performed as Shakespeare Would Have Heard Them Audio CD – Audiobook, 10 Feb 2012

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 1 pages
  • Publisher: The British Library Publishing Division (10 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712351191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712351195
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 14 x 12.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 67,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ben Crystal is a British actor and writer. He studied English Language and Linguistics at Lancaster University before training at Drama Studio London. He has worked in TV, film and theatre, at the reconstructed Shakespeare's Globe, London, and is a narrator for RNIB Talking Books, Channel 4 and the BBC.

He co-wrote Shakespeare's Words (Penguin 2002) and The Shakespeare Miscellany (Penguin 2005) with his father David Crystal, and his first solo book, Shakespeare on Toast - Getting a Taste for the Bard (Icon 2008) was shortlisted for the Educational Writer of the Year Award, 2010. His new series of introductions to Shakespeare's plays - Springboard Shakespeare - was published by Arden Shakespeare in June 2013.

In 2011, he played Hamlet in the first Original Pronunciation production of the play for 400 years with the Nevada Repertory Company, and in 2012 he was the curator of the first CD of extracts of Shakespeare recorded by professional actors in Original Pronunciation for the British Library.

In July 2014, he brought his ensemble to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe, and produced the first reading of Macbeth in OP in Shakespeare's theatre for 400 years. In January 2015 he will take his ensemble to Stockholm to present their production of Pericles in OP, which will be live-scored by the Swedish Radio Symphony as part of conductor Daniel Harding's Interplay Festival.

He and his ensemble perform and give workshops on Shakespeare around the world, and some of this work can be viewed at www.passioninpractice.com

He lives in London and online at www.bencrystal.com and Tweets from @bencrystal

Product Description

Review

A picture may well speak a thousand words, but this single CD demonstrates the difference that a thousand new and often surprising pronunciations make to our better appreciation of what the text really meant. Listening to this selection of familiar sonnets, monologues and scenes from Romeo and Juliet, Lear, Hamlet, Macbeth and Othello made me wonder why RSC and Globe directors don't insist on authenticity. --Sue Arnold, The Guardian, 21 April 2012

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Richard M. Price on 13 Mar. 2013
Format: Audio CD
Those who've heard that Shakespeare spoke with an American accent will be reassured by this issue: the accent is certainly not standard southern English, but its (for us) strong regional feel has charm. It is reassuring too to find that the result is easy to follow. It's a real plus to hear rhymes destroyed by pronunciation changes restored to what they were, and to hear all four syllables in a word like 'ambition'.

But the downside is that the readers don't simply read: they act, and they have been told to read each line as if it were the immediate expression of emotion. The result is an exaggerated delivery, full of breaks and changes of mood, which kills tne metre and destroys the rhetorical coherence of speeches. This mode of delivery derives from the realism of films and TV. It has nothing to do with the Elizabethan stage.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Heli on 28 April 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Interesting, but some sonnets are hard to follow because the sound was not properly edited for the human voice. And please, ye actors, stop whispering, we want to hear what you say without having to tweak the sound and adjust the equalizer settings.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Nj Mcallister VINE VOICE on 16 Jan. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This was really worthwhile. I enjoyed hearing Shakespeare as he intended. The lyrical style of his writing is so much more complete in the original accent and not in stilted BBC Shakespearean english. Really brings the bard to life
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