Andrew Lloyd Webber, a bit racist?

August 22, 2006 Comments Off on Andrew Lloyd Webber, a bit racist?

Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber is looking for a Maria for the “Sound of Music” West End show through a Saturday evening program on the BBC.

It’s one of those programs where one person is sent home every week at the end of the show. ALW has something to say in this, as the two least popular (it’s televoting!) girls have to compete head to head and ALW casts the deciding vote.

During the show, we can hear the professional remarks of the following people:

  • David Ian: a guy who clearly has the hots for one specific girl, but seems as thick as one can get as he doesn’t understand a word of what a well-spoken but slightly accented Romanian girl sings. I’m not a native English speaker and I didn’t have any issues
  • John Barrowman, the guy who smiles like Tom Cruise, jumps around like Tom Cruise did on the Oprah show and might even be more gay than Tom Cruise.
  • Zoe Tyler: the vocal trainer of the girls. Her comments are quite technical, but understandable

The issue at hand is the origins of Simona. She’s Romanian and sings and acts with an accent. ALW and David Ian have clearly made her understand that they don’t like that accent and that she has to get rid of it. I won’t go into the whole debate, but what I found utterly disturbing is that Aoife was allowed to act with a strong Irish accent without any comment. Is an accent from the Islands OK, and others not? Would an American accent be OK, for example?

Simona is doing a great effort in improving and she is. I believe that she can get there, and that she will eventually succeed. But if ‘having an accent‘ is a criterium, then others should go as well… let’s just say about everybody! Because the UK has no definition of the right way to pronounce things. On the whole, every single person in that room is talking with an accent.

Why not add a challenge for all the girls next week: play a part of The Sound of Music with an Austrian accent…


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