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Jordan Luty

Voice for the Stage British RP Monologue Response

Throughout the second semester of my Sophomore year, we have been


studying the British RP dialect. In my previous experience with British dialects, I
have always defaulted to a more cockney styled accent, because that sounds
British in my head. However, through Voice for the Stage and Advanced Scene
Study, my knowledge of the RP (received pronunciation) dialect has grown
immensely. In my work with the monologue presented in class on Tuesday, March
21, I feel confident about my knowledge of the dialect and of my performance.
My initial struggles with the RP dialect began in the misunderstanding of the
British class system. After researching and attending class, I found that RP is often
associated with undeserved privilege and precociousness. The speakers often have
a colorful vocabulary and an extended vocal range. Therefore, in response to the
question, What kind of education does he have? What is his intelligence level?
Upon looking at British plays with this question, I chose a monologue from Hay
Fever by Noel Coward. The monologue is a compilation of lines by the character,
Simon, whom I portray for Advanced Scene Study. However, the lines I chose are
not from my scene. With the analysis that I have done for ADS, I have come to the
conclusion that Simon is an extremely educated individual. He has a high
intelligence level: so much so, in fact, that he often gets bored with the trivial
pursuits of normal humans. Therefore, his intelligence and educational background
influences his delivery and his mannerisms, relating directly to my RP monologue.
Furthermore, Simon entertains himself in unique ways. In The Dialect
Handbook, it states questions such as, Who does he spend time with socially?
and What does he do all day, for work and for play? How might this influence him
physically and vocally? These questions continue on from my earlier analysis. He
is so pretentious that he only surrounds himself with people that infatuate his ego,
and he spends his time focusing on bettering himself. Simon only delineates time
to his others when he feels that they deserve it, which appears to be rather
infrequent. In the book, it asks, What is his attitude towards outsiders?. I think he
is somewhat scared by the lower class, as I feel all higher ranking officials and
individuals are. Obviously, he plays that they are irrelevant to his interests, but he
is intimidated by the uprising of the lower class and the fear that he will someday
be one. In the same vein, Simon pretends that hes not posh and aristocratic.
When he calls diplomatists suave, polished, and debonair hes being extremely
hypocritical. This influences his mannerisms and delivery of lines.
In the actual delivery of the monologue in class, I did not perform as well as
Id practiced in certain areas, and there are specific reasons why. You write,
Relaxation and connection to breath/vibration, objectives and your other as one
of the grading points for the rubric. This part, particularly, I struggled with. I had
practiced so much with how the beginning of my monologue was going to be
delivered to Sorel and the second half was going to be to Clara. There would be a
shift of attention in the middle of the monologue because Simon (the character I
was portraying) had different objectives from both of his others. However, in the
actual performance, I completely forgot about all of that and delivered it without
much connection to an other. When you asked who wanted to perform their
monologue again, I raised my hand immediately because I knew exactly what to
work on. While I did not get a second chance to perform my piece, I know exactly
what I could have worked on and where to grow.
When I flubbed my lines a bit in the showing, it was actually at the shift of
attention part. Why? Because I was not connected to my other, and so I didnt
know why I was shifting. Truthfully, I wasnt exactly shifting much, since I hadnt
started with much connection. When you made a remark about the speed at which
I delivered my monologue, I completely realize why. It is because of the exact same
reason. If I had relaxed, connected to the text and with my other, I would have
delivered a much more empowered monologue.

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