Episode 52 (How To Do Accents)

Edda Sharpe

Paul’s guests for May 2022 are Edda Sharpe and Jan Haydn Rowles, authors of How To Do Accents and leading figures in the world of voice, speech, and dialects. The three discuss dialects in the English National Opera revival of My Fair Lady (which is coached by Edda) and the film Belfast (coached by Jan). They also engage in a larger discussion of dialects and accents, including the ones featured in those productions: Received Pronunciation (RP), Northern Irish, and Cockney.

As well as looking after a busy independent client list, Edda Sharpe is visiting dialect coach for the Royal Shakespeare Company and head of voice at Canada’s Shaw Festival Theatre, where she has coached accents for more than 100 productions. She is also a senior voice and communications coach in the public and private sector.  As a coach, teacher, and trainer, Edda strives to liberate, educate, and inspire individuals to unlock their personal talent and develop their unique potential. Edda is also an accredited NLP Master Practitioner.

Jan Haydn Rowles

Jan Haydn Rowles has been working across the creative industries at the highest professional level as a dialogue and dialect coach for the past 23 years.  As head of voice at Shakepeare’s Globe (2007-2010), Jan coached more than 20 plays and worked with more than 200 actors.  You may well have seen and heard her work at the RSC, the Almeida, the Donmar, and the Royal Court. On film and TV, her credits include the aforementioned Belfast (Kenneth Branagh), Pistols (Danny Boyle’s Sex Pistols biopic), This Sceptered Isle (Kenneth Branagh), Game of Thrones, and House of The Dragons.

All audio clips are excerpted from YouTube under fair use. The clip from Belfast (written, directed, and produced by Kenneth Branagh) is copyright 2021 TKBC. (Bach’s Cello Suite #1 in G Major BMV 1007 Prelude (by Ivan Dolgunov) courtesy of Jamendo Licensing.)