BBC’s Jamaica Inn – excellent stuff!


Am I the only veiwer in the UK who liked BBC1’s recent production of Jamaica Inn? True, I could only understand about two-thirds of Joss Merlin’s (actor Sean Harris – see photo) mumblings – but the drama was set in Cornwall, for goodness sake! Have any of those that complained actually been there? I have Cornish relatives and I spent a lot of time there when I was younger. Also, the last firm I worked for had its head office in Falmouth. My recollections are that I only ever understood about two-thirds of anything the (real) locals said. I made up the rest. It’s amazing how agile and inventive one’s brain can be when faced with strong accents and dialects.

Private Eye (Eye No 1365) seems to have hit the nail: ‘…the main location is a drinking place – with the result that the characters are often pissed – and that many of the people featured are smugglers and murderers who are terrified of being overheard.’ Also, Sean Harris ‘…accurately re-creating the sound of a pissed Cornishman whispering out of the corner of his mouth as a precaution against being rumbled.’

I wasn’t as concerned with the mumblings as I was with the flintlock pistol that fired at least three shots without being swabbed and reloaded in between firings. Now that really was inexcusable…


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One response to “BBC’s Jamaica Inn – excellent stuff!

  1. Don’t get me wrong. I am not slagging off the Cornish, far from it. Being unable to understand everything said in any local dialect or with a strong accent is one of the things that makes people different. When I left the West Country for university (in London), for the first few weeks I was there I was being asked to repeat almost everything I said. When I moved to Scotland twelve years ago it all started again.

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