Shakespeare Scene 1

English

Stephen's got a job as an actor, and he and Ashlie go to the Globe Theatre in London to pick up his costume – and to find out about England's most famous writer, William Shakespeare.

Topics: 
1 Article (OLD SITE STRUCTURE): 
Language level: 
Task 2
Task 3
Task 4

Transcript

Ashlie: You are late!

Stephen: I’m sorry, Ashlie. I’ve got great news. I’ve been offered a real acting job.

Ashlie: Well, that’s fantastic. What’s the job?

Stephen: I’m going to be playing Shakespeare. His plays are amazing.

Ashlie: Oh Stephen, I’m so pleased, that is great news.

Stephen: I know. I’ve got to go and collect my costume from the Globe Theatre now. It’s just round the corner.

Ashlie: The Globe! That is where Shakespeare’s plays were performed in London. I have always wanted to go to the Globe. I’ll come with you.

Stephen: This is my big chance. Every actor wants to be in a Shakespeare play.

Ashlie: I can’t believe you got a proper job as an actor.

Stephen: Can’t believe it? Really?

Ashlie: No, honestly. It’s great. I’m really impressed.

Stephen: Well, I think theatre people can recognise real talent when they see it.

Ashlie: Real talent, eh?

Stephen: It’s all about characters. Shakespeare created great characters. Kings, princes, heroes like Hamlet. I’d make a great Hamlet. To be or not to be. That is the question.

Ashlie: To be or not to be – late. Come on Stephen, get a move on!

......

Stephen: Wow – this is amazing!

Ashlie: I know. Can you imagine life here in Shakespeare’s time?

Stephen: Yes – no mobile phones, no computers, no Facebook. How would we survive?

Tour Guide: Hello. Welcome to the Globe Theatre. This is where the tour begins.

Ashlie: Great.

Tour Guide: So the original Globe was built not far from here in the late 1500s. Shakespeare was one of the owners of the theatre and his plays were performed there for many years.

Ashlie: So what happened to the first Globe?

Tour Guide: The first Globe Theatre actually burnt down in 1613. It was during a performance of Henry VIII and a stage cannon accidentally set fire to the roof.

Tour Guide: OK, it’s this way to the costume exhibition.

Stephen: You can really get a sense of what history was like in a place like this. The whole world’s a stage and all men and women are mere players.

Ashlie: Come on, Stephen, you’re not on stage now. We’re going.

Stephen: Is this really what the actors would have worn?

Tour Guide: Yes, these are copies of traditional costumes as they would have been in Shakespeare’s day.

Ashlie: Can I ask a question? Did they have women in the acting troupe or was it just men?

Tour Guide: No, men and boys acted out all of the female roles so these costumes would all have been worn by men. OK, so moving on...

Ashlie: What’s wrong?

Stephen: I’m not really into history. I’m going to pick up my costume and I’ll see you later.

Ashlie: OK. See you in a bit.

......

Stephen: So, Ash, what do you think of this?

Ashlie: It’s fantastic. I love the hat.

Stephen: I know, it’s a pretty amazing costume. I must be playing a prince or a king or someone really important.

Ashlie: That’s great, Stephen. Maybe you have the lead role?

Stephen: That’s it – you’re right. The director must have seen my star qualities.

Ashlie: Star qualities, eh?

Stephen: Yeah. I was born to be a star. I’ve got so much talent!

Do the Preparation task first. Then watch the video. Next go to Task and do the activity. If you need help, you can read the Transcript at any time.

Before you watch

Think about the following questions:

  • Do you ever go to the theatre?
  • Have you ever been in a play?
  • Do you ever wear costumes? When and why?

Now, watch Stephen and Ashlie as they go to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

Shakespeare Scene 1 Language Focus

English

Rob talks about good ways to learn vocabulary and the uses of 'into'.

1 Article (OLD SITE STRUCTURE): 
Language level: 
Task 2
Task 3

Shakespeare Scene 2

English

Stephen and Ashlie continue their adventures in Stratford, Shakespeare's birthplace. Stephen finds out the truth about his new job and Ashlie meets her Romeo!

Language level: 
1 Article (OLD SITE STRUCTURE): 
Task 2

We use 'such' before nouns and 'so' before adjectives:

  • Stephen: It's such a famous theatre. ('theatre'=noun)   
  • Ashlie: You're so lucky. ('lucky'=adjective)

Exercise

Task 3

We use 'had better' to mean 'should'. For example:

  • Stephen: I'd better go in and find the director.
  • Ashlie: I think I'd better go.

Exercise

Ashlie:  Wow, Stephen. Here we are, the RSC, the Royal Shakespeare Company. 

Stephen: It’s such a famous theatre. All the greatest actors have played Shakespeare here. I’m getting a bit nervous now.

Ashlie:  You’ll be fine, you’re so lucky - it is an amazing place to perform. I am getting a bit jealous now! Can I have your autograph?

Stephen: Stop it. I’d better go in and find the director. Are you going to be okay on your own?

Ashlie: Don’t be silly, I’ll be fine. I’ll just go and do the tourist thing around Stratford. I think I’ll visit the house where Shakespeare was born.

Stephen: Okay, I’ll call you later and tell you when the play starts.

Ashlie: Ah, I can’t wait to see you on stage. Good luck!

Stephen:  Thanks, bye.

Ashlie: Bye.

......

Romeo:  But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the East and Juliet is the sun. Arise fair sun and kill the envious moon.

Ashlie:  Me?

Romeo: See how she leans her cheek upon her hand: O that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might touch that cheek!

Ashlie: Oh, alright then. Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name. Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love. And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

Romeo: Shall I hear more? Shall I speak at this?

Ashlie:  Thanks, that was really good fun.

Romeo:  You were really good. You’re a great actress.

Ashlie: Thank you, I really enjoyed it. So do you always play Romeo and Juliet here?

Romeo: No, it varies, we might do Macbeth next.

Ashlie: I think I’d better go then before you ask me to be one of the witches. I have to go and meet my brother soon anyway. He’s performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Romeo: Lucky him. But you’re welcome here any time.

Ashlie:  Sorry. Hi, Stephen, you’ll never guess.  I actually got to do some Shakespeare too... I was Juliet. It was fantastic... So how’s it going? Well, do you want me to come over? Well, okay…

Romeo: What’s up?

Ashlie: It’s Stephen, I don’t think he wants me to go over and watch him, but - it must just be first night nerves. I think I’m going to go anyway and surprise him.

Romeo: OK. Bye!

Ashlie: Thanks again, then. Bye.

......

Ashlie:  Excuse me. Do you know when the show starts?

Stephen: Hi, Ash.

Ashlie: Stephen, you really are playing Shakespeare, then! Come on.

Before you watch

Think about the following questions:

  • Have you ever seen one of Shakespeare's plays?
  • Would you like to visit Stratford?
  • Have you ever had a job you didn't like? What did you do about it?

Now, watch Stephen and Ashlie as they explore Stratford...

Shakespeare Scene 2 Language Focus

English

Rob guides us through some of the most important English tenses.

Topics: 
Language level: 
1 Article (OLD SITE STRUCTURE): 
Task 2
Task 3
Task 4

Britain is Great!

Tab: 
Great Videos
Chinese, Simplified

我们新创作的一套系列短片,以较快的节奏展示了很多英国很棒的元素。观看视频,完成练习,还可以给我们留言。

每周都有新一集上线,所以请常回来看看,多学习一些吧。

我们新创作的一套系列短片,以较快的节奏展示了很多英国很棒的元素。观看视频,完成练习,还可以给我们留言。

每周都有新一集上线,所以请常回来看看,多学习一些吧。

Britain is GREAT!

Tab: 
GREAT Videos
English

This fast-moving video series is about the things that make Britain great. Watch the videos, do the exercises and leave your comments!

There are twelve episodes, with two videos each, on a wide variety of topics. Enjoy!

This fast-moving video series is about the things that make Britain great. Watch the videos, do the exercises and leave your comments!

There are twelve episodes, with two videos each, on a wide variety of topics. Enjoy!

Music is GREAT - Part 1

English

Some of the greatest music in the world comes from Britain, and British music is still topping the charts today. Richard visits The Premises recording studio, where many world-famous artists have made music.

Language level: 
1 Article (OLD SITE STRUCTURE): 
Task 2

Who has recorded at The Premises?

Exercise

Task 3

Put the parts of the sentences together.

Exercise

Task 4

Put the two parts of the phrases together.

Exercise

From hip hop to jazz… From dance to the blues: it’s music, and there’s a style for everyone. Some of the greatest music in the world comes from Britain, and British music is still topping the charts today.

The Premises recording studios are big players in the music industry. Everyone from Lana del Rey to the Arctic Monkeys come here. Let’s find out more.

If you’ve heard of them, they’ve probably played here. The Premises has been one of London’s most popular studios for over 25 years. It has space for rehearsing, recording and mixing some of the best music in the world.

Viv Broughton is the studio boss.

Richard: Viv, tell me about The Premises.

Viv: Well, The Premises is a complex of recording studios and I don’t really think there’s anything quite like it anywhere in the country. It's a mixture of rehearsal studios, recording studios, a lively café, storage facilities, so it's a really busy place. Hundreds of people passing through all the time.

Richard: What sort of artists come here?

Viv: Oh, a mixture of people. I mean, we've been going for 26 years so almost everybody you can think of has passed through the doors one way or another, so I think in the last couple of years people like Rihanna and Adele and Lana Del Rey. Last month we had Ronnie Wood in from the Rolling Stones, so it's quite a mixture of people.

Richard: What is it about Britain that creates such musical talent?

Viv: Ah, that's a good question. It's a bit of a mystery but there just must be something in the water or in the air. Britain produces just so many amazing bands, from The Beatles and the Rolling Stones onwards and it's a melting pot of great recording and writing talent.

Britain has some of the world’s greatest music festivals. This is Bestival in the Isle of Wight. For 4 days every year, thousands of people come to this award-winning event to listen to and watch some of the greatest music acts around. There’s music here for everyone…

Which of the following sentences are true?

Exercise

Shopping is GREAT - Part 1

English

London has some of the world’s most famous department stores: Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols and many others. Our presenter Richard visits them and also samples a smaller shop for a range of shopping experiences.

1 Article (OLD SITE STRUCTURE): 
Language level: 
Task 2

What's special about each shop or area?

Exercise

Task 3

Match the beginnings and ends of these phrases.

Exercise

Task 4

Richard said "If only they had it in my size". Type the correct form of the verb in the gap. Make it negative if necessary. 

We have a page on LearnEnglish about the use of 'if only'.

Exercise

London is the shopping capital of the world. Every year millions of overseas visitors shop here. But what makes shopping here so great? There’s only one way to find out. I’m off to do some shopping – follow me!

At Harrods

Knightsbridge is famous for upmarket shopping. This is where the rich and famous come to buy… their socks. And this is the one and only Harrods… the ultimate in luxury. Even royalty shop here. If I’m lucky, I might see someone famous.

If only they had it in my size. Lovely! Thank you!

Done quite well there – what’s next? Taxi! Harvey Nichols, please.

At Harvey Nichols

Harvey Nichols – or ‘Harvey Nicks’ for short – is a great place for designer fashion.

Well, I had to buy couple of things… What?

At Hamleys

The biggest toy shop in the world – now you’re talking!

So cute… err… it’s not for me.

Oxford Street

London’s Oxford Street is retail heaven. It’s got over 2 kilometres of shops to choose from… and, of course, Selfridges for shopping with style. Taxi!

Could you drop all this off home for me, please? I’m off to explore a different sort of shopping in Britain.

If you like shopping all under one roof, then there are big shopping centres all over Britain. The Olympic-sized shopping centre at Westfield, Stratford, is huge. With over 300 shops, it’s one of the largest shopping centres in Europe. 

At Lock's

Great shopping isn’t just about big shops. Smaller shops can offer something special too. Tucked away in the heart of Piccadilly is a great shopping gem. Lock’s sell that must-have in gentlemen’s fashion: the hat! Lock’s opened in London in 1679. Their hats can be seen across the world. They pride themselves on their personal service.

Richard: Sue Simpson is a hat specialist. Hi Sue.

Sue: Oh, hi Richard.

Richard: Wow, a bowler hat, you don’t see many of those these days, do you?

Sue: Well, we don’t call it a ‘bowler’ here at Lock’s, we call it a ‘coke hat’ because it was invented in 1850 for Thomas Coke…

Richard: …by this very shop.

Sue: …by this very shop and we still call it a ‘coke’ to this day.

Richard: Ah, the classic top hat. When would I wear that?

Sue: That’s a beautiful silk top hat. You would wear that for a society wedding, or the time you see most of them is at Ascot, which is the famous race meeting in June.

Richard: So what’s your best-seller here at Lock’s?

Sue: Our best-seller would be a classic tweed cap or this trilby here, which is called a ‘Voyager’, and the novelty of this one…

Richard: …is it folds up so you can pop it into your luggage.

Sue: …pop it into your luggage.

Richard: Excellent. Is that a deerstalker?

Sue: Similar to a deerstalker, but this is a country cap with a fastening that goes over the top. And this was invented originally for wearing in open-top cars, but now it’s more commonly worn on the hills out shooting and this keeps the ears warm and stops it blowing away.

Richard: I like it; I’ll take this one.

In what order did Richard look at the following products?

Exercise

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