16 May 2008

English accents


I read a note in the interesting blog Crooked Timber about Hugh Laurie's accent. He is the main character in the TV medical sitcom House. It reminded me of a time back in the 70s when I was serving with her Majesty's Royal Air Force. They were putting on a musical in competition with other RAF bases. A friend talked me into going to the auditions. As soon as I spoke, the director said, "OK, we've got Bobby," the only American in The Boy Friend. So I had to learn how to do the Charleston. The guy I shared an office with knew how to do it, so we locked our door over the lunch hour and practiced until I could do a reasonable facsimile of the dance. Our secretaries were fairly wary of coming into our office without prolonged knocking after that of course.

Anyway, the main point I was trying to make was that after we had done the show with the judges present they gave us a little review of what they thought about it. The only comment I received was that my American accent was a little overdone. Rimshot: buh-da bum!

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