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Love Those British Boys

January 6, 2013 by Leah Baker

What American doesn’t love listening to a British accent? How about a couple of seven year-old boys who can sing with one? Irresistible!

Aaron the Artful Dodger and Charlie as Oliver in The New Year’s Review.

When Aaron received the news at the first cast meeting for the New Year’s Review that he would be singing “Consider Yourself,” from the musical Oliver, he had no idea how fun it would be. He was assigned the role of the Artful Dodger. Never having seen the musical or movie he didn’t know what this character was all about. When I explained that he was a very gifted pickpocket, he was overjoyed. “Woo hoo! I can totally see myself as a pickpocket!” he said. The funny thing is I could kind of see it too. (In another life, of course).

We looked up the song on the ever-helpful YouTube and watched a few different versions, but mostly the 1968 movie production of the musical. Of course it is set in Britain and all of the characters have a British accent, and therefore sing with a British accent. So what does Aaron do? Start singing it with a British accent. And he couldn’t stop! I asked him to try singing it with normal American pronunciations. “Mom, I just can’t help it. I can’t sing it any other way!”

When it came time for his first rehearsal, I said to the director, Bryce Hendrickson, “He can’t stop singing it British!” Bryce didn’t miss a beat, and said, “That’s OK, we’ll go with it!” And then he fine-tuned it by making sure he had all the correct cockney-style inflections. As it turned out, Aaron’s singing partner, Charlie, playing the role of Oliver had been singing in a British accent as well. With dance moves to boot, together they are an adorable dynamic British duo who have been melting audience members’ hearts all weekend!

Today is the last chance for viewing this limey pair. Can’t wait! But, ‘oo knows where else a cockney accent will come in ‘andy?


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