Interview with Cicely Berry

A wonderful interview, Jane Boston (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) talks with Cicely Berry, legendary voice coach and human being. What do you do when you have different directors with different idealogical approaches to the work, for example Trevor Nunn, who looked for “depth of feeling within characters”, or Terry Hands who focussed on the story-telling aspect, calling for “faster and louder”, while John Bardon looked to “honouring the structure of the verse” “I had to find different strategies to help actors to find their own response, and yet honour what the director wanted” And so much more…Enjoy!

How I Spent My Holiday

  I had the best holiday I’ve had for years. Hopping onto a train, sitting in comfort watching the fields and towns roll by, hopping off the train to be met by lovely friends who wined and dined me for a couple of days before dropping me off at another train station, to be met a few hours later in a different part of the country by more friends who wined and dined me, with lots of lovely catch up chatter. My last stop was Liverpool, staying with my son Roderick whom I conscripted to accompany me for a mini-gig I had acquired as part of the 2016 Threshold Festival. This is a delightfully vigorous grass-roots music-and-the-arts festival that takes …

The case for learning about sonnets – in reverse

Working – or playing – with sonnets is a fabulous way to learn about how language works, why poetry CAN be its highest form. But where do you start? Ask just about anyone what they know about sonnets, and they will probably say “iambic pentameter”.  Then ask them what that means. Some will know that it refers to a kind of rhythm, most will say it means 10 beats to a line, and some that it means 10 syllables to a line. That is not what the words actually mean, but they are on the right track. Let’s break it down. What does ‘iambic’ mean?  Perhaps you know it refers to a specific rhythm, the one that occurs when you have an unstressed …

Travel Plans 2014

I am so excited I am almost beside myself.  If there were two of me, we would be jumping up and down and hugging each other. But since it’s just me, myself and I, we will all three of us settle down and share the news. The actual travel dates are not yet finalised, but this is roughly my itinerary: Brisbane to Seattle – mid-June Seattle to New York – late-June-July New York to Liverpool, UK – mid-August Liverpool to Au Brana, France – mid-September then back to Brisbane. In New York, I’ll be undertaking the Knight-Thompson Teacher Certification course.  In Au Brana I’ll be training with John Britton (Duende-Ensemble) on creating solo performance. I am also planning to get …

Real and Virtual Travel Adventures

I’ve just returned from a 3 days trip to Sydney, the first time I’ve been there for quite a few years.  It came about because of an invitation to run two workshops for the NSW Speech and Drama Association‘s annual seminar.  They wanted to sample my warmup programs for themselves, so that was the first session.  For the second one, they gave me free range, so I chose to work with them on Shakespeare cue scripts. They also very generously invited me to spend the whole two days with them, joining in all of their activities, including lunches at Bill & Tony’s, dinner at the Pullman Hotel, and a lovely wander down to the Harbour to see the last night of the Vivid …