COMPLETE: [DRAMA] Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw - ge

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alexfoster
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Post by alexfoster » July 18th, 2006, 3:15 pm

This play is now complete and can be downloaded from the LibriVox catalogue: http://librivox.org/pygmalion-by-george-bernard-shaw/

Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw

I'm now MCing (and also BCing) this project - Gesine, 11 January 2009.
Pygmalion (1913) is a play by George Bernard Shaw based on the Greek myth of the same name. It tells the story of Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics (based on phonetician Henry Sweet), who makes a bet with his friend Colonel Pickering that he can successfully pass off a Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, as a refined society lady by teaching her how to speak with an upper class accent and training her in etiquette. In the process, Higgins and Doolittle grow close, but she ultimately rejects his domineering ways and declares she will marry Freddy Eynsford-Hill – a young, poor, gentleman.

The play was later the basis for the successful movie adaptation "My Fair Lady" with Audrey Hepburn as Eliza and Rex Harrison as Prof. Higgins.
(Summary by Wikipedia/Gesine)
Volunteers outside the USA/Canada/Australia: Bernard Shaw died in 1950. His work is probably still protected by copyright in places like Europe, where copyright is author's death plus 70 years.
  1. Is there a deadline?
    Target completion date of this project: 31 March 2009 – but try to send your recordings as soon as you can. If you cannot do your section, for whatever reason, just let me know and it’ll go back to the pool. There’s no shame in this; we’re all volunteers and things happen.
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    Source text (please only read from this text!): http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/3825
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Last edited by alexfoster on August 14th, 2006, 7:28 am, edited 16 times in total.
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alexfoster
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Post by alexfoster » July 18th, 2006, 3:24 pm

I'm ever so tempted to do a mischevious reading with Higgins and Colonel Pickering - "confirmed bachelors' - as a gay couple.

But maybe not, eh?

My initial thoughts, on reading it through tonight:

I definitely want the narrator to read Shaw's essay at the end, I think it's rather charming.

As regards the rest of the narration, simple instructions which tell actors how to perform should not be read, but shown by the actor. Character names should not be read. EG
LIZA [thrilling with hidden joy] I'm glad. I've got a little of
my own back, anyhow.

HIGGINS [with dignity, in his finest professional style] You have
caused me to lose my temper: a thing that has hardly ever happened
to me before. I prefer to say nothing more tonight. I am going to
bed.

LIZA [pertly] You'd better leave a note for Mrs. Pearce about the
coffee; for she won't be told by me.

HIGGINS [formally] Damn Mrs. Pearce; and damn the coffee; and
damn you; and damn my own folly in having lavished MY hard-earned
knowledge and the treasure of my regard and intimacy on a
heartless guttersnipe. [He goes out with impressive decorum, and
spoils it by slamming the door savagely].
So - red bits not read. Green bits read by narrator. Black by characters, showing the direction in their voices.

What do people think?
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Work in progress: [url=http://www.alexfoster.me.uk/podcasting]here[/url]

kristin
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Post by kristin » July 18th, 2006, 3:29 pm

I think it makes sense to omit some of the stage direction. We are doing something similar with Pirates.

Are you going to ask people to try to do accents for the other parts, as well, or just for Liza?

Queue
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Post by Queue » July 18th, 2006, 3:31 pm

Why not, I'll try narrating.

Text is here http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/3825 , your link is letters between H. Litz and R. Wagner.
Pax,
~Queue

alexfoster
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Post by alexfoster » July 18th, 2006, 3:31 pm

Earlier discussion on this happened here:
http://librivox.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1248
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alexfoster
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Post by alexfoster » July 18th, 2006, 3:35 pm

Thanks Queue -- I don't know what I did with the link.

Accents. I think it would be wonderful if people could do cut-glass posh British, but I will settle for posh-whatever.

Given the text though, the posh is important. Good diction. Properly pronounced words in properly phrased sentences. No inappropriate dropped consonants. This is poetry, guys!
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kristin
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Post by kristin » July 18th, 2006, 3:46 pm

I would do Mrs. Higgins because I'm sure there must be someone out there with a better grasp of cockney. However, if no one steps up I would give Liza a go. My problem is, since I lived in the UK for a few years, I don't hear the accents like I used to, hence when I try to do one, it doesn't sound like an accent to me.
Last edited by kristin on July 18th, 2006, 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Breefolk
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Post by Breefolk » July 18th, 2006, 5:00 pm

Does the parlour maid need to have a posh accent too? Cause I would like to have that part. If possible (even though I am all Canadian like)
-Christiane Levesque

a.r.dobbs
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Post by a.r.dobbs » July 18th, 2006, 6:13 pm

Oh I have an idea ... nevermind.
Anita
Last edited by a.r.dobbs on July 19th, 2006, 5:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
Anita

Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » July 18th, 2006, 11:31 pm

I was vaguely thinking of doing a cockney guide when Kristin mentioned this in the earlier thread. If she is happy about this, we could continue via PM and Skype.

Peter
"I think, therefore I am, I think." Solomon Cohen, in Terry Pratchett's Dodger

kristin
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Post by kristin » July 18th, 2006, 11:55 pm

I would certainly be willing to give it a try, unless Alex decides there should be an audition.

alexfoster
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Post by alexfoster » July 19th, 2006, 2:20 am

I don't see the need for auditions, but read it through and see how you feel about the part.

You have to be able to do all the EE-aaa-ooo--oooohs!, be able to speak FAST at times to get all the Cockney in, and then slow down and talk nicely for the last act.

Unlike the musical, all the actual tuition and learning things happens between the acts, so you just have to be able to change, not have to be shown changing!

Breefolk: Parlourmaid is fine, but is a very small part -- but maybe you'd consider Mrs Pearce, the housekeeper?
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a.r.dobbs
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Post by a.r.dobbs » July 19th, 2006, 3:32 am

Okay, I'll trim out the try out idea then from my previous post. -- A
Anita

Breefolk
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Post by Breefolk » July 19th, 2006, 5:15 am

alexfoster wrote:Breefolk: Parlourmaid is fine, but is a very small part -- but maybe you'd consider Mrs Pearce, the housekeeper?
Sure, I would love to be Mrs. Pearce. I just didn't want to have to try the posh accent and was worried I might have to if I played any of the played parts.

Plus I sound young, but if you don't think that is a problem, I would love to do it. :)
-Christiane Levesque

martinc
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Post by martinc » July 19th, 2006, 5:27 am

It has ben suggested that I might try Captain Pickering, but in view of Alex's requirement for 'posh' an audition might be appropriate, or at least perhaps alex would venture a view on my previous work (although I can be a bit more posh - I cannot separate Captain Pickering from Wilfred Hyde White in my mind and cannot quite achieve that)

I would be most anxious however for CP not to have a 'special' relationship with Professor Higgins - what on earth is a Lib Dem MP doing suggesting such a thing!!

Martin
http://homepage.mac.com/martin.clifton

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