York Theatre Royal was left baffled after a customer complained and asked for a refund as the actors in the play were speaking with a Yorkshire accent in York.
Tom Bird received a bizarre complaint from a customer after watching Northern Broadsides Theatre Company’s production of As You Like it.
Bird took to Twitter to share his experience writing: ” We’ve got a complaint this morning @YorkTheatre
from someone who left after an hour of @NBroadsides #AsYouLikeIt last week, because it had “Yorkshire accents” in it. That’s Yorkshire accents, right here in Yorkshire. They want a refund.”
The Halifax-based company’s whole ethos is to ‘sell northern voices’ by adding regional dialect to classic plays, so you’d be forgiving for thinking how this customer missed this whole point.
After posting to Twitter he gained attention from theatre enthusiasts and novices who were just as baffled by the complaint.
One user wrote: “Surely in the top 10 of ridiculous complaints?”
Another celebrated the ethos of giving Northern dialects a platform writing: “It was the Scouse Accents in @NBroadsides @ #LiverpoolPlayhouse that turned me on to Shakespeare & allowed me to reclaim the verse. Bill didn’t perform in RP. As David Crystal so eloquently points out, S’peare & his company would hardly understand how we pronounce English today.”
And another wrote: “This is the best birthday present anyone could have given me. If you too wish to harm your ears by hearing Northern Actors saying Shakespeare Northernly then do come watch us in @NBroadsides #AsYouLikeIt We are going all over the country intent on doing serious RP damage.”
Oxford Playhouse director Louise Chantal said: “I once got a letter (hand-delivered – clearly very local) complaining about the Scottish accents in a show by the National Theatre of Scotland. Memorably she suggested ‘if you must put a play on in a foreign language at least provide subtitles.’ The play was in English.”