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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.

JohnD Sun 23-May-21 13:30:04

After reading the Lessons at Church, the Minister complimented me and said how he loved my Cumbrian accent. He was Scottish. The Church is in Carlisle.

Yammy Sun 23-May-21 13:31:51

Hi Musicgirl,
larl lad and larl lass sounds so like home. I'm glad and proud to have retained my accent and love to hear it I'm glad your dad kept his. When a few of us oldies from school get together the accents start to slip or on the phone relations always say" Oh I'm glad you have not lost yourself".
I love all the regional accents and think it gives us an identity.

Lettice Sun 23-May-21 14:23:27

I have found that accents are not only regional/local, but also generational. My maternal family has lived in the same area for a few hundred years. I remember my granny's accent being so full of dialect it was almost "foreign". Her eldest daughter, my aunt, had less dialect but still a strong accent and she wrote dialect poetry. My mum, youngest of the family, had a noticeable accent but much less discernible. Mine is so generic as to be only there in certain words, and I have nothing of granny's rich vocabulary.

Legs55 Sun 23-May-21 14:30:09

I was brought up in Yorkshire which has many different accents & a definite dialects, varies from town/village to next town/village sometimes only a couple of miles away. First 30 years of my life

I have lived in Lancashire, Middlesex (Surrey) for 22 years, Somerset for 4 years & now Devon for the past 6 years.

My job required me to use RP as I spoke to people all over the UK. However I have never lost some trace of my Yorkshire accent, I've now picked up some of the Devon words, don't often hear a really broad Devon accent here but there are a few around, I live close to Dartmoor. there are lots of "blow ins" around this area. It always pleases me when some-one remarks on my accent, it's part of who I am. I have a friend (Devon born) who teases me but it's all in fun grin

Cabbie21 Sun 23-May-21 14:33:57

I am a bit of a chameleon. I have moved around quite a bit, and I can easily speak like the people around me, be it Yorkshire or the Midlands or a non posh RP. When I moved house as a child, I was teased for my accent, so I soon learned to fit in.
I do find some accents on TV hard to understand, but I am not sure whether they are genuine or not.

felice Sun 23-May-21 14:38:02

This post has brought back so many memories, thank you.
We were at a Wedding once I was about 10, very stuck up lady was trying to bully my Mum and my Dad overheard,,, she wanted to know where we lived, (in a very nice area) my Dad asked her where she was from, Morningside, and he said, well that explains the cheap fur coat, did you put your knickers on this morning then? Old saying fur coat and nay knickers is from Morningside.

Yammy Sun 23-May-21 16:24:26

Hi John,
I bet your reading sounded so authentic in such a setting. The accent is so different across the boarder. Gretna really is another country. We knew an old chap from Carlisle and he always pronounced it Carlel.
The best book for Cumbrian speech in my opinion isn't a Melvyn Bragg but"Quartered safe out here".,By George Fraser of Flashman fame. It is about the Boarder regiment fighting in Burma during WW2. It has a glossary of translations in the back.
If your so local you might realise where my username comes from. My father said it was what they were called in the forces during the war. He always maintained it didn't matter how tired they were or where they had come from when the train went through Shap all the Cumbrians woke up they could smell the air and knew next stop Carlisle loap oout.

TUGGY Sun 23-May-21 16:33:45

The Devonshire accent nearly always sounds Cornish. But really done awful.

Bijou Sun 23-May-21 16:45:23

In the early sixties my children went on exchanges with French children. We all, met at Victoria station and the French children were sent to different places all over U.K. I wonder how they got on with the different dialects.
My son went to the north of France and my daughter to the South. They came back with different accents. I noticed it because I spoke (so I was told by French people) Parisian French.
I am sorry that most of the old dialects are disappearing.

songstress60 Sun 23-May-21 16:54:39

Jodie Comer can do any accent at all. She is amazing. The cast of East Enders would be lost if they had to adopt a northern accent.

grannybuy Sun 23-May-21 17:08:41

Alegrias - aye, files!

grannybuy Sun 23-May-21 17:14:44

Felice - aye, there's a lot of ie's added on in the north east. Efter ye get yer jobbies da'en, ging doon i toon on i bussie tae the shoppies.

Chestnut Sun 23-May-21 17:31:20

muse - I wish I could remember the film, but I remember critics saying that it was a brilliant story line and well acted but would need subtitles because of the strong authentic accents. I think it was the Liverpool accent.
Maybe you are thinking of a TV series called Lilies which was great but very hard to follow the Liverpool accents especially the father. Strangely enough, he was actually Scottish! It was Brian McCardie who played the evil Tommy Hunter in Line of Duty.

varian Sun 23-May-21 17:39:00

The only English actor I've ever heard doing a believable Scottish accent is Emma Thomson - but I believe her mother is Scottish

Kim19 Sun 23-May-21 17:47:33

Guess my ignorance knows no bounds as to the where of different accents. As long as I can make out what they're saying I'm happy. Many people don't remain in the area where their accent was derived so I see it as inconsequential.

felice Sun 23-May-21 17:58:07

Grannybuy, grin [flowers[

grannybuy Sun 23-May-21 18:19:32

Felice - that would be floories then.

ShewhomustbeEbayed Sun 23-May-21 18:25:20

Kevin Whately trying to do an American accent in Gypsy the musical opposite Imelda Staunton

Grannycool52 Sun 23-May-21 19:33:55

Actors trying to do an "Irish" accent can be unintentionally hilarious.
Ireland must have as many dialect and accent variations as the UK and as many subtle class distinctions too.
Living in Dublin for many years, I've discovered that I can often tell who grew up in which suburb and even, in some cases, can distinguish which school they went to. There is a world of difference between an educated Dublin professional's Hiberno-English and, for example, a Midland farmer's or west coast fisherman's accent, all equally valid.
Actors are apt to do a sort of daft " Top-of-the-morning-to -you" accent which has never ever been heard of in real life ?.

Savvy Sun 23-May-21 21:21:18


Black Country - it's a dialect, not an accent. And it isn't Birmingham!

Here! Here! As someone from the Black Country, I get really annoyed being called a brummie.

lizzypopbottle Sun 23-May-21 23:21:19

I've heard that Sean Bean does a brilliant Sheffield accent. He's from Sheffield, of course. I never watched Game of Thrones (such violence and bloodshed) but I believe SB insisted all his GoT family had to do a Sheffield accent to fit in with his because he won't speak any other way and it wouldn't sound authentic if his 'family' spoke differently.

Nannina Mon 24-May-21 01:37:22

Perhaps it’s sometimes ancient stereotyping. I live in Yorkshire and often the accent is wrongly portrayed as ‘thee and thou’ and abbreviation of the to t’. I’m in my late 60s and there were echoes of that in my youth but very rarely now

Nannina Mon 24-May-21 01:45:54


I've heard that Sean Bean does a brilliant Sheffield accent. He's from Sheffield, of course. I never watched Game of Thrones (such violence and bloodshed) but I believe SB insisted all his GoT family had to do a Sheffield accent to fit in with his because he won't speak any other way and it wouldn't sound authentic if his 'family' spoke differently.

I agree SB, originally from just up the road, has an authentic Sheffield accent but not the stereotypical Yorkshire man of:
‘Yorkshire born, Yorkshire bred
strong in ‘t arm and thick in t’ head’ smile

Katie59 Mon 24-May-21 07:46:16

I bet SB would do a brilliant “Full Monty” too!.

Bluecat Mon 24-May-21 09:41:45

In 1985, there was a TV adaptation of "The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole" and I have held a grudge about the accent ever since then. "Adrian Mole" is set in Leicester which was the home of the writer, the late great Sue Townsend. It happens to be my home too, and I love the books. The adaptation irritated me because the actors had Birmingham accents, particularly Julie Walters who played Pauline Mole with a broad Brummie accent.

If anyone had done a smidgeon of research, they would have realised that people don't all have the same accent just because they live in the Midlands.