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Last Updated: Monday, 18 July, 2005, 16:50 GMT 17:50 UK
'Authentic' Shakespeare on stage
Globe Theatre - Richard Kalina
Troilus and Cressida will run at the Globe Theatre for six weeks
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.

It brings out many of the rhymes and puns we have lost over the years
Giles Block, director

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 and America.

"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 Bangor.

'Street savvy'

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 pronunciation.

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 the sound.

"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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