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plays where the actors can't do the accent

(82 Posts)
Yammy Thu 20-May-21 12:23:06

Does anyone else feel like me? I am originally from Cumbria and waited in anticipation for the new ITV four-part play that started on Monday set in Keswick.
The plot seems quite good the acting convincing the scenery beautiful, but where are the Cumbrian accents not one actor with an authentic one, one near-miss with a Yorkshire.
Other people in different parts of the country must feel like this as well.
The only time we hear a local accent is when we are visiting and a local farmer is on the news or on country file when they are visiting somewhere local.
Do Cumbrians not take to the stage or is the accent odd o and so obscure no one can emulate it.

bunny17 Sun 23-May-21 10:40:53

Martin compston made a fab job of Londoner Steve Arnott in line of duty ?

bunny17 Sun 23-May-21 10:41:53

Martin compston made a fab job of Londoner Steve Arnott in line of duty

Granny1810 Sun 23-May-21 10:47:08

I live in Norfolk. No one should attempt a Norfolk accent without proper training. We have a unique and beautiful accent. It does not sound sound like Mummerset.

Marmight Sun 23-May-21 10:48:24

I’ve just watched Rebellion on Netflix. I’m usually able to pick up most accents but the strong Southern Irish accent combined with a lot of muffle had me reaching for the subtitle button (brilliant series btw)

Edith81 Sun 23-May-21 10:52:55

Years ago I met a young Spanish lad who spoke excellent English but with a slight Scouse accent . Turned out he learnt to speak English through listening to the Beatles. ?

Molly10 Sun 23-May-21 10:53:14


Martin compston made a fab job of Londoner Steve Arnott in line of duty ?

This made me smile. I hasten to add not because it isn't true as he is brilliant but I recall, when he was in a Scottish play/film using his own Glaswegian accent, seeing comments about how awful his attempt at a Glaswegian accent was. Lol, you just can't please some folks.

pipdog Sun 23-May-21 10:56:00

Yammy it really does depend on which part of Cumbria you come from, it is a big county after all. I am from Cumbria but don't have a broad "marra" accent even though I was brought up about 15 miles away. People know I am from "the north" but not which part and have been told I can't be Cumbrian as all they know is the west coast bit around Workington etc., I can slip some of it in if need be but it isn't my natural accent.

nipsmum Sun 23-May-21 10:57:32

Scotland is like everywhere else and has a huge variety of dialects. Doric is difficult unless your a local, broad Glaswegian is quite rough, Sean Connery spoke posh Edinburgh. Fife is something else too. Most are impossible unless you were born there. For plays and film I try not to be too critical. People need to understand the words so don't be too critical if you think it's not authentic enough.

Theoddbird Sun 23-May-21 11:20:48

With people moving around the country so much not everyone will have a local accent. I live in East Anglia. I rarely hear a Norfolk or Suffolk accent. Just because a play is set in an area one should not expect everyone to be talking with a local accent. We do not live in a time when people stay where they were born surrounded by people the same.

Yammy Sun 23-May-21 11:33:37

Hi Pip dog,
When I lived in the old Westmoreland but came from the West. The first thing I was asked when I arrived was if I was a Marra or an Assa marra.
My husband is from the same place and we have kept our accents going at home.
Maybe we should all speak the Queens English as we all can do, and did at work in other parts of the country where we lived.
I think I was so looking forward to the play then disappointed when I heard them speak. It's good to know that other people from different parts of the country feel the same and that is what I was asking.
When a reli who lives abroad had been on a long holiday with us, they were in a Supermarket and telling their daughter to behave they must have said "Give ower" because a chap tapped them on the back and asked which part of Cumbria they were from as he was from Workington.
I have since been told that West Cumbrian starts at Keswick and we give ourselves away when talking in dialect by ending each sentence in eh? Higher education and living all over the country has never stopped us. Do you say shillies for small pebbles be careful another big giveaway.
Good to meet a fellow Cumbrian not many of us seem to acknowledge it.

Alioop Sun 23-May-21 11:37:43

No wonder any programmes based in N.Ireland always seem to have our "born and bred" actors in them quite a lot, Jimmy Nesbitt as a good example. Some others can't seem to get the accent and sometimes sound like they have an american twang that sounds ridiculous. It's a hard accent to get and there are so many different ones in a small country. People who live only 10 miles from me have a completely different accent to mine.

Graygirl Sun 23-May-21 11:39:40

It's the mumbling I can't take ascents not that important

Musicgirl Sun 23-May-21 11:40:42

My Dad was from Cumbria and I love the accent. It is very soft. I live in East Anglia and the only actor who ever came close to a Norfolk or Suffolk accent was John Thaw in Goodnight Mr. Tom. Most actors who try these accents sound as if they are members of The Wurzels!

Musicgirl Sun 23-May-21 11:42:44

Oh, and I think my favourite expression of my Dad’s West Cumbrian accent was larl lad.

icanhandthemback Sun 23-May-21 11:59:12

I care less about accents and more about being able to understand what is being said not least because if accents are too broad, I have to listen over the top of my husband complaining like heck!

felice Sun 23-May-21 12:11:43

Nipsmum, Sean Connery spoke anything but posh Edinburgh, he was from a very rough area, what he did was pronounce his words correctly, I am from a medium posh area and even I do that living abroad, mainly for the English living here as they tend to assume we all have the same accent due to dodgy TV programmes.

Nanananana1 Sun 23-May-21 12:24:10

Don't get me started on Americans doing BRITISH accents? What is a 'British Accent'?
As for Americans in ye oldie cowboy movies speaking in broad American drawl? Surely in the early days they would all be speaking German, Dutch, Irish, Italian, Polish etc.? The spoken English must have been 'rich and varied' and has given us the American accent we hear today
Vocal and dialect coaches are employed in many TV and film dramas but even they must have a difficult job when an actor just can't hear the intonations, let alone speak them
I love hearing local dialects lingering in people's speech, even when they have moved on, moved away. It is a link to home that never leaves some people. I feel sad for those who have ironed out their speech and come from 'middle England'. I lost my accent long away when ridiculed at college in London for being 'Northern'. Midlands actually) But I have clung onto my flat 'a's'!

CathyNSW Sun 23-May-21 12:31:03

This is a really interesting thread! I didn’t realise there were so many different accents in England & Scotland, I knew there were a few, but not so many!

I’m from Sydney Australia & I love watching Vera & her accent, I didn’t realise that she wasn’t getting it right. I also love watching Call the Midwife, is Shelagh Turners accent authentic? I love listening to her as well. I watch so many British shows, I’ll have to pay more attention to their accents!

Deedaa Sun 23-May-21 12:43:52

When we lived in Cornwall I used to do some charity work with a very nice man who had a very thick accent and a speech impediment, total nightmare! I used to spend a lot of time doing what I hoped he wanted done.

I was once at a poetry party (we were a very arty lot) which included a man from Nova Scotia. He had us all reading poems with not just a Canadian accent, but a Nova Scotian accent and yes, the differences are very subtle! It was an educational afternoon!

Joesoap Sun 23-May-21 12:52:08

I think accents are important although originating from Liverpool, I think its hard for people not from Liverpool to understand the accent, when I hear it I feel I am home again.

grannybuy Sun 23-May-21 13:17:15

I'm a Scot, from the north east, so am comfortable with my native Doric, or ' proper English, though, of course, with an accent. Some years ago, we moved only 45 miles north, and encountered a different accent, and new words and phrases. Someone told me that they were " awa tae get their eerins ", and I assumed she was going to buy ear rings, but in fact she was going shopping - for errands! Where I came from, not so far away, we'd say we were going for our ' messages '.

Alegrias1 Sun 23-May-21 13:22:24

I'm aye ga'an for ma errins grannybuy wink Wis she gan doon i' toon?

Redhead56 Sun 23-May-21 13:24:33

Liverpool accent can differ though some people have a real strong accent and some a softer tone.

Knopflerfan Sun 23-May-21 13:25:54

Nanananana1 and Joesoap - I do agree. I’m a Brummie girl - a scholarship to a posh school got my accent rapidly changed to BBC English, plus I’ve lived in France for nearly 30 years - but if I meet a fellow Brummie the years fall away. My DH swears he can’t understand a word I’ m saying after just a few minutes, though I’m not aware of speaking any differently!

felice Sun 23-May-21 13:26:18

grannybuy, I moved to the North East from Edinburgh in the 70's, my X was gobsmacked when my Aunt asked him if he had liked his 'new jobbie' that day !!!!!!
A jobbie in Edinburgh was something you flushed down the toilet.