Performances and Talks

Poetry reading at the Restaurant Du Nord, BernBy Franz Andres Morrissey

Twenty pieces of advice for the lovelorn

Description: A programme of performance poetry, designed to be entertaining, with light verse, children’s poems, verbal and conceptual juggling and a few somewhat more serious pieces (travel and love poems) thrown in for good measure based on his eponymous collection.

Equipment: none

Duration: at least 30 minutes not more than 75 minutes (plus break)

References: Erica Holt, Restaurant Du Nord (; or Barbara Mosca, the British Council (

Sounds across the Water; the phonology of rock lyrics from Liverpool to Louisiana

Description: a talk about accents and phonology of British pop stars from the Sixties to the Nineties and the way in which they emulate (or don’t emulate) American models. Designed to give an accessible overview of the phonology of English dialects this talk features recordings of well known recording artists and is aimed at teachers or those with an interest in pronunciation.

Equipment: CD player (good quality), a photocopied handout and an OHP

Duration: Approximately 60 minutes

References: Denise Marchini, organiser of the Burgdorf Teacher Training Courses (; or Dewi Williams, gymnasium teacher in Olten (

The Popular Ballad: songs from Scotland, Ireland and England

Description: This is a talk about Scottish, Irish and English traditional ballads, their language and their motifs. The main focus is on examples, sung live to the accompaniment of a variety of more or less traditional instruments. Depending on the interest of the audience this is either more of a commented presentation of songs or a presentation of the poetics of the folk ballad with musical examples.

Equipment: none; the songs will be presented with at least five instruments

Duration: 90 minutes with a break

References: Silvia Jakob, FASC tour organiser (r& or Paul Skandera, Secretary Swiss-British Society Basel (

Folk songs of the British Isles

Description: a presentation of various types of folk songs of the British Isles, love songs, songs of the sea, erotic songs, tall tales (may be the same thing), drinking songs, broadside songs, songs about political activism. This is more of a concert with some introductory remarks to the songs than a talk

Equipment: none; the songs will be presented with at least 5 instruments

Duration: 90 minutes with a break

References: Casino Society, Burgdorf

The Canute Syndrome or why the language purists have got it wrong

Description: An overview of changes in the English language from the Old to Modern English illustrating that the concerned letter writers to the quality papers, who are worried about the demise of English as we know it, can rest assured that the same thing has been happening for centuries and, provocatively speaking, there is nothing that can or needs to be done about language change

Equipment: an OHP, a photo-copied handout

Duration: 60 minutes with discussion

References: Hampy Halter, (, English Club Toggenburg-Wil


Starting from CHF 200.–. To this expenses of around CHF 50.– are to be added.

For bookings and more information contact Franz.

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