In the dramatic performance of text, linguistic performativity is inherent within the utterances provided by the playwright for the character, to be used as if they were in normal use in the world of the play. The actor, however, is required to speak memorised lines many times as if the spoken language just happened to occur in that instant, in response to the need to express a specific thought. When performing Shakespearean drama, codes of linguistic performativity must be balanced with those of the verse and the heightened language as well as the needs of public performance – or the demands of the film set. Often, a second level of ‘para’-performativity overlays the text as it is spoken by the actor, and the utterance resounds with the acts of remembering and/or quoting (the memorised lines). I propose that when the illusion of ‘honesty’ is achieved without reducing the language to a contemporised ‘naturalness’, it owes its existence to a second order, or ‘meta’-performative quality adhering in the voice.