Browsing Tag


The earthy Bard

By June 2, 2015 Performance

English nerd alert: This father and son are my new fantasy dinner of wit guests.

For starters, I would beg them to announce the menu before we began and then, a bedtime story to shut the party down with a proper send-off. Apart from rich voices, their depth of understanding about words and puns is bloody impressive. Here, they deconstruct their experiments with OP (Original Pronunciation), or English as it was pronounced at the time Shakespeare’s plays were written and performed.

Theatre and language fans, here is your daily dose. Watch until the end to see how their discovery is a change in some of the understanding we have today of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. Back to class everyone.

Sonnet #116 was read at our wedding, by a very fine friend, in Received Pronunciation. What did I know about it other than embracing these ageless words about enduring love?  (soon enough, I would come to need some of these handy insults)


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Here, Ben Crystal reads it in both, and lets his audience in on how changing the pronunciation also changes the whole tone.


Okay. Back to work.

Unless, you need more so here’s Taste is for phonies

or Hurrah for words.


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