Read the information about four musicals on in London. Answer the questions. 

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Read the information about four musicals on in London. Answer the questions.

Palace Theatre

0171434 0909

Shaftesbury Ave. London W1.

Les Miserables"Stands оut as the greatest musical of this half century"International Herald Tribune

Victor Hugo's great novel about the French revolution brought to the stage by the outstanding talent of Boublil and Schonbcrg, sweeps its audience through anepic tale of love, passion and destruction, set against the backdrop of a nation in the grip of revolutionary turmoil. Indisputably the world's most popular musical, Les Miserables has earned itself a unique place in musical history. Evenings 7.30pm, Matinees Thu and Sat at 2.30pm.



Theatre Royal Drury Lane

0171494 5000

Catherine St. WC2.

Miss Saigon"The musical is already a legend" Newsweek

Miss Saigon is the classical musical love story of our time. Set against the terror and chaos of the last days of Vietnam, Miss Saigon tells of the love between a young Vietnamese girl and an American soldier. Written by Boublil and Schonberg, its spectacular staging and powerful music have made Miss Saigon a worldwide triumph. Evenings 7.45pm, Matinees Wed and Sat at 3.00pm.


New London0171 405 0072

Drury Lane WC2



London and Broadway's longest-running musical has enchanted audiences ever since it first opened in 1981. An intoxicating blend of fantasy and drama combine with some of the most exciting dance ever seen on stage, and of course the wonderful music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Evenings 7.45pm. Matinees Tues and Sat at 3.00pm.


Her Majesty's0171494 5400

Haymarket, London SW1.

Phantom of the Opera

"Magic, memorable and so spectacular" Sunday Express. With some of the most spectacular sets, costumes and special effects ever to have been created for the stage, this haunting musical tells the tragic story of a beautiful opera singer and a young composer, shamed by his physical appearance into living a shadowy existence beneath the majestic Paris Opera House. Evenings 7.4 5pm, Matinees Wed and Sat at 3.00pm.



1 Which two musicals are set in France?

2 Which two are based on real historical events?

3 Which one is not a love story?

4 Which one can you see on a Thursday afternoon?

5 Which one has spectacular costumes?

6 Which one has been on the longest?

7 Which one starts earliest in the evening?

8 Which one does not use a newspaper quote in its advertisement?




1) Imagine you're in London. Choose the show you would most like to go to. Explain why you'd like to see it.

2) Talk to other students and find someone who'd like to go to the same show on the same day.


In the Interval

Wick: Well, how do you find the play?

Helen: The play itself is all right, but I don't like the way it is produced.

Nick: Why? What's wrong about it?

Helen: Everything. Scenery for example. I don't like to look at the empty stage.

Nick: It's true, there was no scenery to stare at. But the costumes and make up, the light and sound effects helped to concentrate on the dialogue and acting.

Helen: Hush! Nick! The lights are going down. Let's listen to the play.


At the Theatre

Dick:Hallo, Pauline. You are looking prettier than ever this evening. Are you enjoying the play?

Pauline: Very much. However, the play is not as good as the book. But Helen Hais is one of our best actresses. She makes any play a success. And the stage sets are beautiful. By the way, Ed, what did you think of Eugene O'Neill's last play? Remember it ran in the National Theatre this past week.

Ed: It was his worst play. However, I don't like Eugene O'Neill as you know. He neither interests nor amuses me. He's too serious. I like at least one laugh in the play.

Pauline: Yes, I agree with you, Ed.

Richard: So do I. But there's the signal for act two. Why don't we get together after the play? We can get a bite to eat. We'll look you up later

Ex. I. Read the dialogue and answer the questions:

Where are Richard, Ed and Pauline at the moment? What are they discussing? What does Pauline think of the performance? What is her opi­nion of Helen Hais? How does she find the sets? What does Ed think of Eugene O'Neill's last play? Why doesn't he like him? What are the friends going to do after the play?

Ex. II. Give a brief account of the conversations.

Ex. III. Act out the conversation.

Ex. IV. Ask your own questions on the conversation.

Ex. V. Role-play the conversation.

Ex. VI. Act out the following situations:

1. You've got a spare ticket for "Carmen" on Saturday night. You phone your friend and invite him (her) to join you. He (she) willingly accepts your invitation. You are going to pick up your friend at his (her) place at 6.30.

2. You phone your friend to invite him (her) to dinner at your house one evening next week. You will not take "no" for an answer!

3. You receive a phone call from A who wants to see you some time next week. You do not really like A very much, so try to find excuses for not accepting the invitation.

William Shakespeare

Shakespeare, William (1564-1616), was an English playwright and poet. He is generally considered the greatest dramatist the world has ever known and the finest poet who has written in the English language. Shakespeare has also been the world's most popular author. No other writer's plays have been produced so many times or read so widely in so many countries.

During his lifetime, Shakespeare was well-known to people in England, but he was looked upon only as a writer of popular plays. He wrote his plays to suit the kind of audience that would be watching them. Yet his works can be enjoyed today, as they were by the people who saw them nearly 400 years ago.

Many reasons can be given for Shakespeare's broad appeal. But his fame basically rests on his understanding of human nature. Shakespeare understood people as few other artists have. He could see in a specific dramatic situation the qualities that relate to all human beings. He could thus create characters that have meaning beyond the time and place of his plays. Yet his charac­ters are not symbolic figures. They are remarkably individual human beings. They struggle just as people do in real life, sometimes successfully and sometimes with painful and tragic failure.

Shakespeare wrote at least 37 plays, which have traditionally been divided into comedies, histories, and tragedies. These plays contain vivid characters of all types and from many walks oflife. Kings, pickpockets, drunkards, generals, hired killers, shepherds, and philosophers all mingle in Shakespeare's works.

In addition to his deep understanding of human nature, Shakespeare had knowledge in a wide variety of other subjects. These subjects include music, the law, the Bible, military science, the stage, art, politics, the sea, history, hunting, and sports. Yet as far as scholars know, Shakespeare had no professional experience in any field except the theatre.

Shakespeare was born to what today would be called middle-class parents. His birthplace was the small market town of Stratford-upon-Avon. Shortly after he married at the age of 18, Shakespeare apparently left Stratford to seek his fortune in the theatrical world of London. Within a few years, he had become one of city's leading actors and playwrights. By 1612, when he seems to have partially retired to Stratford, Shakespeare had become England's most popular playwright.

Shakespeare has had enormous influence on culture throughout the world. His works helped shape the literature of all English-speaking countries and of such countries as Germany and Russia. Shakespeare also contributed greatly to the development of the English language. He freely experimented with grammar and vocabulary and so helped prevent literary English from becoming fixed and artificial. Besides, many words and phrases from Shakespeare's plays and poems have become part of English everyday speech. They are used by millions of people who are unaware that Shakespeare created them. For example, Shakespeare originated such familiar phrases as fair play, a foregone conclusion, catch cold, and disgraceful conduct. As far as scholars can tell, Shakespeare also invented such common words as assassination, bump, eventful and lonely.

Many people can identify lines and passages as Shakespeare's even though they have never seen or read one of his plays. Examples include "To be, or not to be", "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears", and "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!"

Besides influencing language and literature, Shakespeare has affected other aspects of culture in the English-speaking world. His plays and poems have long been a required part of a liberal education. As a result, Shakespeare's ideas on such subjects as heroism, romantic love, and the nature of tragedy have helped shape the attitudes of millions of people.




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