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01 Photocopiable activity

1a Get the gist?

A B
Its the same thing night after night. Despite requests There is just one rule if you want to get into the theatre: get
by the manager, despite notices in the foyer and in the a good agent. Because without one, theres no way youre
programme, there are always two or three people who going to get anywhere. And even when youve found one,
leave their mobiles turned on. So there you are, in the dont expect the work to start rolling in. Remember that
middle of the show, when someones phone goes off. You at first youll be at the bottom of a long list of wannabes,
carry on, of course, but your attention has been distracted. and most agents offer jobs on a first come, first served
You struggle to remember your lines and stay in character, basis.And even when your name finally gets to the top
while the guilty party starts hunting through their pockets of the list, youll still have to go through an audition.
or their handbag for the offending item, and you want to Meanwhile, your name goes back to the bottom of your
scream out, How dare you? Just who do you think you are? agents list. Fail the audition, and youre back to square one.
at the top of your voice.
C D
I could see that our lead actor Tony was getting increasingly So, you get to the end of another month, and the theatre
irate with the couple in the third row, and it wasnt hard to manager hands you the usual brown envelope. You know
see why. It had been bad enough when they had loudly what its going to say, how much you get, how much
munched their way through a large bag of crisps during has been taken by the taxman, how much for national
the first act, but now it looked like they were unwrapping insurance, and so on. But of course you open it anyway,
sandwiches and discussing who wanted what. Eventually, and look at the tediously depressing figures. Theres enough
Tony turned to the couple and said in a loud voice, Sir, there for my rent and food. I might even be able to put the
madam, if youre feeling hungry, may I suggest you try the heating on when it gets too cold. And if Im really careful,
Italian restaurant on George Street! You should have seen there might be a bit left over for a meal or two out. And you
the look on their faces! think to yourself, is all the hard work really worth it for this?
E F
Im standing in line outside the theatre, and there must be Theres this feeling, or rather series of feelings, you get,
at least 50 others in the queue. Im cold, wet and hungry, which starts about an hour before youre due to go on
but Im feeling optimistic. This is it, I tell myself. Finally stage. It begins with a fluttering in the stomach, progressing
someone is going to spot me and say, Shell be perfect for to a dry mouth and a feeling of faint nausea. You try to
the role. The door opens and we shuffle towards it. A man tell yourself to calm down, get a grip, youve done this
at the door eyes each hopeful up and down. Those who hundreds of times. And you ask yourself why it is that
get a nod are ushered inside, those who get a shake of the everyone around you is so calm. Of course, theyre not.
head are turned away. At last its my turn. Im at the door. Theyre experiencing exactly the same thing, of course, and
A quick up and down, a slight shake and thats it. Another like you, theyre just putting a brave face on things.
chance has come and gone, and seething with frustration,
my ears burning with the humiliation of public rejection, I
trudge off into the autumn drizzle.
G H
Ive yet to meet a fellow performer who feels their work is A little voice inside my head is talking to me. Dont mess
appreciated by those who hired them. Really appreciated, up, it says, dont forget your lines, dont miss your cues,
that is. Sure, youre told youre doing a great job, that you dont upstage anyone, dont make a fool of yourself in
gave a great performance that night, blah, blah, blah. But front of all those people. My body reacts, cold sweat forms
all the compliments in the world arent going to feed your on my brow, I begin trembling slightly. Calm down, I say
family or pay the mortgage. And thats the biggest to myself. I take a few deep breaths, close my eyes and
disadvantage of a career on the stage the job is great, count down backwards from 20. Then the curtains open,
but the financial rewards leave a lot to be desired. Real the lights go up and suddenly all those feelings dissipate
appreciation is something concrete, something tangible, as the adrenaline rush kicks in. Im going to be great, I
not just empty platitudes put there to make you feel good. say to myself, and Im going to give this audience the
performance of my life!

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01 Photocopiable activity
1b In other words

Team 1
1 (a) At the end of the performance, the woman who wrote the play was invited onto the stage by the cast.
(b) At the end of the performance, the was invited onto the stage by the cast.

2 (a) T he lead actor didnt enter the stage when she was supposed to, leaving the rest of the cast standing there
looking rather bemused.
(b) The lead actor didnt enter the stage , leaving the rest of the cast standing there looking rather
bemused.

3 (a) The lead actor wasnt a very good singer, but the actors singing with him were fantastic.
(b) The lead actor wasnt a very good singer, but the actors were fantastic.

4 (a) Every time the actors made a mistake, the director yelled at them and threatened to walk out.
(b) Every time the actors made a mistake, the director and threatened to walk out.

5 (a) T he promoter didnt know if staging a musical version of George Orwells 1984 would succeed, but was
prepared to invest in it anyway.
(b) The promoter thought that staging a musical version of George Orwells 1984 was a
, but was prepared to invest in it anyway.

6 (a) H
 is determination to get a lot of attention on the stage and television was endless, but he never made the
bigtime.
(b) His determination to be certainly , but he never made the big time.

Here are your words for Team 2:

a a area at backstage
bounds dress leapt of opportunity
out ovation received rehearsal screenwriter
soundtrack standing the understudy was

Word bank

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Photocopiable activity

Team 2
1 (a) My brother is an accomplished film and television scriptwriter, and is in big demand in the film industry.
(b) My brother is an accomplished , and is in big demand in the film industry.

2 (a) The film itself was quite good, but I thought the music and the songs were terrible.
(b) The film itself was quite good, but I thought the terrible.

3 (a) T he day before the plays opening night, the actors rehearsed the play one final time in front of a small
audience.
(b) The day before the plays opening night, the actors had in front of a small audience.

4 (a) At the end of the play, the appreciative audience stood and applauded the cast.
(b) At the end of the play, the cast from the appreciative audience.

5 (a) T he actor learning the other actors lines in case one of them was unable to perform immediately accepted
the lead actors role when he fell ill.
(b) The naturally to play the central role when the lead actor fell ill.

6 (a) Nobody can go into the area behind the stage unless they are directly involved in the performance.
(b) The is to everyone except those directly involved in the performance.

Here are your words for Team 1:

backing bounds cue dark down


in in jumped knew leap
limelight no on playwright singing
the the their throats vocals

Word bank

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01 Photocopiable activity
1c Whos the star?

A
ever since I already Im currently I might try Ive yet I was just I was going I was supposed lately Ive the first time

B
about to call started listening Ive watched I went regret promising to get to go to meet to record waiting

1 Oh hi, Helen. What a coincidence. you!


2 that film about modern dance tonight, but the reviews all say its really boring, so I dont think Ill bother.
3 some tickets for the Goo Goo Dolls concert at the O2. Would you like me to get you one?
4 Ive wanted to be a dancer to my first ballet when I was six.
5 to hear if Ive got the part in the college play I auditioned for.
6 In my career as an opera singer, Im often inspired by my fellow artists, but anyone who has inspired me
as much as Wynne Evans.
7 This is an opera all the way through without falling asleep!
8 I love rock music, but to classical music, especially Beethoven.
9  everyone that I would get tickets for tonights performance of Madam Butterfly. They all seem to have
sold out.
10 H
 i, Rick. Do you fancy coming over tonight? to the theatre, but apparently the plays been cancelled
because the lead actor is ill.

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