Surfing the net your teacher found the following information on one of the sites.
Hello, I'm Brenda Kean and I would like to share my love of theatre, films and music with you. On these pages you may find my reviews about Theatrical productions that I have personally seen. These are my reviews about shows that can be seen in the North West of England month by month I work as a freelance Theatre, Film and Music Critic. The reviews represent my personal and honest opinions of the performances, and I have no financial interest in any of the productions, except where specifically stated.
Do go along to the shows and experience them for yourself. Nothing beats live theatre.
Bringing you my honest views I update the website regularly.If you have any comments about my reviews, please e-mail me at the address below.
You’re welcome to send your own review of one of the performances you’ve recently seen to Brenda Kean. Write it in 120-180 words. Make use of the hint below.
§ 1 Introduction state the names of the theatre, performance and director (producer), main
stars (actors or actresses that performed in the play), the scenery on the
stage, music, costumes of the participants etc.
§ 2 Main body write about the main points of the plot of the play
give general comments
§ 3 Conclusion give some recommendation
Open Door Theatre (ODT), Kyiv's only theatre offering English-language productions, presents its sixth show 'Play On!' by Rick Abbot. Judging from the name it's a comedy about behind-the-scenes in the theatre. ODT usually produces comedies as they aim to satisfy most tastes. Another good reason to choose comedies is that there are lots of humorous episodes based on body language, which will make it easier to understand for those who don't have a full grasp of English. They also try to involve as many Ukrainians as possible, in both the cast and the production. As all the actors were chosen from the Kyiv community, you might see some familiar faces among the characters. This time the show will be held at the Institute of Foreign Relations at Melnikova 36/1, near Lukyanivska metro. Entrance is free of charge, but you might want to get your tickets in advance from AmCham, U.S. Peace Corps, IWCK, WestNIS Enterprise Fund, U.S.Embassy, and Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.
14. Investigate one of the following issues looking for some information in books, magazines, newspapers, encyclopaedias or the Internet and write 10-15 theses* on it. Be ready to present all the copies of the materials you used to your teacher.
*thesis (pl. theses) in writing it is the sentence or group of sentences which state what the main idea of your piece of investigation is.
1) A most outstanding scriptwriter or producer, actor or actress of Great Britain / the USA / Ukraine.
2) The interior of modern theatre.
3) The most promising theatrical companies and their productions.
4) Kyiv’s theatrical life.
5) People have undeveloped esthetic taste nowadays.
6) Actors and the audience.
7) Theatrical performances show art and is not really waste of time
8) Theatre is the best / worst kind of entertainment.
9) Modern experimental plays are of great interest today.
10) Theatre is a magic world to which one can escape to relax.
A) Read the article about Sarah Bernhardt and pay special attention to how much her unconventional behaviour helped the career of this great French actress both on and off the stage.
Many people believe that Sarah Bernhardt was the greatest actress in the history of the theatre. She fascinated audiences around the world. People adored her and called her ‘the Divine Sarah.' Her performances were very dramatic and so was her life.
Sarah was born in 1844 in a poor neighbourhood in Paris. Her mother Julie Bernhardt was a beautiful woman who had many boyfriends. But she wasn’t married. [1 - …]. Julie loved to travel and there was no place in her life for Sarah. So, Sarah grew up feeling unwanted.
Friends and family members helped care for Sarah. Mostly she lived with her nurse in a small, dark room in a poor, dirty neighbourhood. She was thin, pale, and
sick-looking.[2 - …]. When Sarah was about five years old, she threw herself out a window when her aunt refused to take her home with her. Sarah was badly hurt and she couldn't walk.
Sarah had a bad temper and loved to break the rules. The boarding school didn't want her, so her mother sent her to a Catholic convent school where the teachers were nuns. Sarah needed to be disciplined and educated. This wasn't easy because Sarah had a lot of energy and passion. She tried to use her energy in a good way. She started studying to become a nun. This didn't work because Sarah was still very rebellious. [3 - …]. Sarah's family had to think of something else to do with their wild child.
When Sarah was about 16, a friend of her mother's suggested that she should study acting. Sarah wasn't sure about it, but everyone else thought it was a wonderful idea. She chose a scene to perform for the examination to enter the French government's acting school, the Paris Conservatoire. She studied very hard. When she began the scene, the judges stopped her. [4 - …]. But Sarah had practised alone, so she refused. The judges were shocked, but they offered to let Sarah perform something else. She chose to tell a story she knew. This was very unusual because the judges wanted her to act, not tell a story. But Sarah insisted. She told the story with such brilliance that she was accepted even before she finished.
Sarah studied at the Conservatoire for several years and made her first stage appearance at the national theatre company, the Comedie Fransçaise, when she was 17.
[5 - …].But Sarah's debut was a failure. When she heard what people thought about her, she swallowed poison and almost died. 'Life is useless,' she said to her friends. She wanted to see what death was like. Sarah continued to act without much success. She finally left the company after she slapped the face of their oldest and most respected actress.
Sarah Bernhardt had a terrible temper. But she also had charm, passion, and a strong personality. She had friends and boyfriends all over Europe. Around this time, she gave birth to her only child, Maurice. [6 - …]. Bernhardt wanted to be free to do whatever she wanted. She was 22 now and determined to succeed. She joined the Odeon Theatre and studied very hard for the next six years. She performed with all her energy and passion and became a well-respected actress.
In 1869, Bernhardt had her first great success. She acted in a play called Le Passant (The Passerby), which played for over 100 nights. She was on her way to a brilliant career. But the Franco-German War interrupted her life for a while. Paris was under attack. In 1870, Bernhardt organized a military hospital in the theatre. After the war ended in 1871 the Odeon began to produce plays again, and she returned to acting. The audiences loved her and the critics went wild. The Comedie Fransçaise asked her to come back to them. She gave unforgettable performances. Her fans called her 'the Divine Sarah.'
People began to tell stories about Bernhardt. Some were true, some were not so true. [7 - …]. Because she was thin and played male roles, some people said she was a boy dressed up in women's clothes. Sarah loved the publicity and lived a life as wild, exciting, and bizarre as the stories about her.
Sarah Bernhardt worked hard and didn't rest. Her doctors told her that if she didn't rest, she would die at a young age. She was always fascinated by death. No one played a death scene like Sarah Bernhardt. She liked to walk around in cemeteries. She always kept a special coffin and placed it beside her bed so it would be the first thing she saw when she woke up. Sometimes she slept in it. Sometimes she served tea to her friends on it. She brought the coffin with her wherever she went. Bernhardt was pretty wild, so it isn't surprising that she had a few wild pets, including a wildcat, two young lions, and a young tiger. She took them with her to the theatre and kept them in her dressing room during her performances. Sarah Bernhardt became the leading actress of the Comedie Fransçaise. When the company travelled to London, thousands of people came to see herand not the Comedie Fransçaise. After her last performance in the United States, 50,000 people came to the stage door to say goodbye to her. But the management didn't like her temper or her strange lifestyle. [8 - …]. She called it the Sarah Bernhardt theatre. She played many important parts. In fact, she was one of the first women to play Hamlet. By then she was 36 years old. She travelled around the world and became an international celebrity. There was no actor or actress in the world like Sarah Bernhardt.
Bernhardt was not like other actresses; age didn't hurt her career. [9 - …]. It seemed that nothing could stop her. She worked 14–15 hours a day and played the most difficult roles. When she was 64 years old, she shocked audiences when she played 19-year-old Joan of Arc. Around this time, Bernhardt hurt her leg during a performance. [10- …]. In 1915, her leg had to be cut off, so Sarah began to play her parts sitting in a wheelchair. The following year, during World War I, she still entertained the soldiers. When she was 79, she worked on a film for an American producer. But she was too ill to leave her house, so he filmed her in her living room. When she could no longer sit in a chair she said, 'Film me in bed.' Then Sarah Bernhardt died. She was buried in the coffin she always took with her.
b) Return to the article again and fill in the missing sentences A–J. Do it in figures and letters.
A. In the end, the convent couldn't handle Sarah and the nuns asked her to leave.
B. Sarah never knew her father.
C. It was the most prestigious theatre in Europe.
D. She was also very unhappy.
E. When the managers told her this, she left the company and formed her own.
F. They wanted her to choose a boy to act in the scene with her.
G. But like her mother, she didn't marry his father, who was a prince.
H. They said she smoked cigars and acted like a man.
I. The leg never healed properly, and she suffered with pain for many years.
J. She became more brilliant as she got older.
c) Below are your peers’ thoughts about Sarah. Do you agree with them? Comment on your viewpoint. Each time write 2-3 sentences to present it.
1. Oliver: If Sarah had been calmer, she would have had more success.
2. Jenifer: Sarah would have overplayed any famous actress except for her strange lifestyle.
3. John: But for her unsuccessful debut she would have joined the Odeon Theatre at the age of 17.
4. Alicia: Even if Sarah hadn’t given unforgettable performances in the Odeon Theatre, her fans would have called her ‘the Divine Sarah’.
5. Tomas: If Sarah hadn’t played many important parts, she wouldn’t have become an international celebrity.
6. Julia: Sarah's debut was a failure. But she would have returned to acting in any case.
7. Evelyn: Except for her fascination for death and wilderness she wouldn’t have kept wild animals in her dressing room.
8. Gloria: Even though Sarah hadn’t been filmed at the age of 79 in a wheelchair people would consider her to be a strong, bizarre personality.
9. Jessica: If there were any extravagant actress in the world, she couldn’t play a death scene like Sarah Bernhardt.
10. Gilbert: Two big lions and a tiger wouldn’t have been walking around Sarah’s place if she had been afraid of death.