VOICE AND SPEECH IN THE THEATRE: J.Clifford Turner.
Sixth edition: 2006. Edited by Jane Boston.
ISBN : 978-0-7136-8188-8.
Review: Annette Engelbrecht, September 2007.
(A link to Amazon for the book follows the review.)
Friendly, detailed, a must.
It is possible to have a relationship with a book over many years. During this time the book becomes your friend, your teacher and companion, who you revisit time and time again. As a student you rigorously and blindly follow the advice. But through the years, as you grow as an artist, you continually go back, evaluate and are encouraged by the familiar passages, words and exercises. – Such a book is VOICE AND SPEECH IN THE THEATRE by J Clifford Turner
Being a Drama student during the sixties in South Africa was an exciting but difficult endeavour. There were sanctions against the import of books, and text- books on the theatre, acting and the voice were scarce. We trained our voices by taking singing and elocution lessons. And then somebody gave me a copy of this book; my world changed for ever.
I realise that information about the voice has changed over the years because of medical and scientific research. Many new and wonderful books have been written about freeing and developing the voice but generations of teachers and students (professional and amateur) have benefited from this book. I discreetly asked a few Voice Tutors in Higher Education at drama schools if they still use the book. The answer – yes, they do!
May be it is the clear comprehensive style that makes the book so approachable. Or may be it is the fact that it is practical, easy to follow and friendly. The enthusiasm for the language, a passion for the art of acting as well as a deep appreciation for the words and sounds of spoken English, embrace the reader and leave you deeply affected.
The book was first published in 1950. It has been revised twice. In 1977 by Malcolm Morrison and in 2006 by Jane Boston, a Senior Voice tutor at RADA she carefully revised the text in the light of contemporary developments in voice research and teaching methodologies.
Theoretical knowledge and practical exercises guide the student through the following chapters : The Voice in Theory, The Voice in Practise, The Tone, The Note, The Word, The Voice in Action. There is also an Appendix to guide you round the different Voice and speech routines.
Everything from the onset of tone to articulation, inflection, audibility and projection are discussed. A solid and sound foundation for voice work, rooted in scientific knowledge is at the heart of the book. A must have for every serious drama teacher and student.
Here’s the link to Amazon: