Fiennes assists linguistic expert – Annabel M

Now you might be thinking that if he-who-must-not-be-named came to RHS you might be aware of it due to his deep hatred of muggles, something our school is unfortunately full of. Calm down, no violent murderer(that we know of) stepped foot onto these grounds. The pale, noseless creature you have seen on your TV screens did not drift through these halls, but the man behind the mask… no not Tom Riddle, the actor Ralph Fiennes. 

Known also for his roles as the head chef in the Menu, M. Gustav in the Grand Budapest Hotel, a Nazi soldier in Schindler’s list or more relevantly Basil Brown in The Dig.

What am I talking about? Well on Monday, English students in sixth form and a few chosen Year 11 students were invited to a talk by Charlie Haylock, an expert on the history of spoken English and he was assisted by none other than Ralph Fiennes. The talk was an insightful journey round the UK, looking at where accents and dialects differ and merge into one another.

As part of the talk Emi Sharples and Daisy Clabburn both gave renditions of Shakespeare, with Emi reciting the well-known “To be or not to be,” speech which was then followed up by a second rendition from Ralph Fiennes who performed with an American accent so that we could see how it was performed in Shakespearean times. 

After this engaging performance Ralph Fiennes left and Mr Haylock continued his talk, ending on a poem of the most versatile word in the English language “up” by Tao Lee.

Overall, we were very lucky to have an expert come to deliver a lecture on England’s different dialects and just as fortunate to meet a famous actor who could pass on some quick tips and insightful examples of how he got into show business. Something that becomes even more funny when we think of Seamus hunting him down and cornering him to ask more questions.

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