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Shakespeare Scene 1

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.

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.

Preparation

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.

Transcripts

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!

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Language level

Intermediate: B1
Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

thanks for your guide to click on the "I can't see video"
I'm Iranian and i can't see some episodes.
is there a way to download these episodes?
please guide me...for first time i saw it on the Persian BBC and i love it!

Hello Saeedeh,
I'm glad to hear that this works for you in Iran. We want to make all our videos visible this way so our users in Iran (and China) can see the videos.
I'm afraid it isn't possible to download the videos for copyright reasons.
Best wishes,
Adam
The LearnEnglish Team

Sorry but it doesn't work anymore!
I can't see any episodes.Hope solve it!
thanks.

Hello,
That's a shame! Can you please check on another computer to see if it's a problem for everyone?
Best wishes,
Adam
The LearnEnglish Team

thanks it is working!
 

Hi Adam. I`m maryam from Iran and I can watch all episodes from "can`t see video" It works for me. I don`t have such a problem which saeedeh has
 
 

Hi maryam-najafi!

It looks like saeedeh got it working, but we really appreciate you letting us know that it was working for you. Thanks, and I hope you enjoyed the rest of this series of Word on the Street!

Best wishes

Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

Here we're go again!!!

I'm happy to tell you that I can see this video. I think your method does work! Think you! 

Nice I could see antother part of World on the street. I have been learning english only over two years. I found World on the street and Elementary podcast help me very much study, mainly listening.
Thanks for it. I am grateful.

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