The Dell

Let's parlez Franglais

June 17, 2013

Speaking FranglaisRehearsals continue apace with Henry V– on stage, it's time for the French to do their bit again.

Great hilarity when two actresses, whose command of the French language in real life is 'less than fluent', try (with considerable success by the end of the rehearsal) to act as Frenchwomen, with little or no command of English, one of whom is attempting to learn English from the other.

Note the look of disdain from the 'French teacher' (are you keeping up with me so far?). The Bard's original cod French is brought to life, after guidance given by the Director (who doesn't speak French either!), to loud laughter from those waiting to rehearse the next scenes.

This is followed by the French King getting even more exasperated than last week (can he keep this up – we hope so!) and the French Herald starting to get the message that 'Harry of England' means business – and my menacing bulk helps to drive the Herald off into the wings (the director tells me to stop brandishing my axes at this stage; a fixed and threatening glare from a furious 6'5” of very angry lord will do the trick nicely).

Meanwhile, back in the fighting, it's difficult to take a King seriously when he's striking vicious sword-blows at thin air, because his opponent of the moment isn't available. In my 'axe-wielding serial killer' role, my new opponent and I now have reasonable confidence that we won't ACTUALLY kill each other – I think (hope) that her look of fear as I attack her is due to acting ability, not real terror!

Worries – the Director says the last rehearsal was excellent – pride cometh before a fall?

by Tim Stoneman  |  No comments yet


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Teaching Shakespeare