Mudcat Café message #3680594 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #156167   Message #3680594
Posted By: GUEST
27-Nov-14 - 04:57 PM
Thread Name: radio 4 how folk songs should be sung
Subject: RE: radio 4 how folk songs should be sung
So I should save you? I'll background, that won't use your ammo.

Ewan was part of a movement predating the goggle box: amateur theatricals got quite useful in the 1930s, in my in-laws territory the Chapels created Burton and Hopkins and it has kept going. In Brum it was the Rep, and Ewan part of the Manchester scene. He was right on the edge, and blocked by the authorities as a result - until their cred got shot after WWII, which is a debate still not concluded as these pages show.

You may chose to correct me, Jim, but for me, the pathfinder in the vernacular ballad form which led to the Radio Ballads was Charles Chilton. Ewan had also worked in radio production in the 1930s, and Charles Parker was a strong guide to him. Although we know him as a folkie, he was also extremely well-connected as one of the angriest of the Angry Young Men: for example, his work with Dominic Behan was exactly alongside Joan's with B.

His second wife, Jean Newlove (Kirsty's mum), was Rudolf Laban's first assistant when he came to the UK, and thereby the leading Laban proponent. We should ask GSS for details, as his avatar is one of Ewan's plays from this period.

To think of Method Acting in the extreme framework Newman and Hoffman took it to in the States was not true of the UK acting scene at that time: it was far more intellectual here, conceptualising rather than experiencing. We were far more likely to have to channel the experience of a telephone, as the medium through which a communication happens, than go out and murder a patrician household so we'd know where Long Lankin was coming from!

At the same time, with a few exceptions, one of the problems with the 1960s folk scene was that most of the audience were, frankly, twee. They'd been brought up on the National Songbook and were falling between every stool imaginable, in not following the early steps of hard rock nor yet sticking with classical music. I at least wrote my name in both! What was needed was something which could speak for itself, in neither the Classical mould of the Early Music movement (you discussed Andreas Scholl here recently) nor yet fabulist, in the style which would head towards Marillion. And that was the point of the Critics Group, to find a staging method which would be true to the heritage yet not be banale.

And how they did that, Jim, over to you. Part of what you did led to something superb, Natural Voice, and for that this movement will go down in history.