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the world largest art gallery is the Winter Palace and the neighboring Hermitage in Petersburg, Russia. One has to walk 15 miles to visit each of 322 galleries, which house nearly 3 million works of art and objects of archeological interest.


Read the text and find out what “rep” means.

The heart of the acting world in Britain is still "rep". Repertory, to give it its proper name, is the system of having the same group of actors acting in dif­ferent plays.

There are over 200 theatres in Britain that work on this system, though most of them close for some months in the winter. Wales and the south-west of England have very few theatres, but there are rep theatres spread out over the rest of Britain.

Actors in rep perform one play in the evening, and they rehearse the next play in the morning and afternoon. Sunday is the only day they have for any sort of relaxation—and then they usually have to wash their clothes (after six days of make­up and dirty stages), and make sure that they've learnt their lines.

On Monday morning, they all meet to make sure that the fur­niture and scenery are ready for the new play. On Monday after­noon they have the dress rehearsal, and the producer makes the last changes and suggestions. Then there is just time for a quick meal before the curtain rises for the first performance.

On Tuesday morning, they start rehearsing Act 1 of next week's play.

Nearly all the famous British actors and actresses, both old and new, started in theatres like this. All rep companies include several young people, who are paid very little and work very hard. They have to help look af­ter the stage and scenery, as well as acting in each play. But it's the best way of learning about the acting world.

Outside the ordinary theatre world of reps and successful plays are the theatre clubs. They charge a membership fee for one year or more, so that then they don't have to worry too much about attracting audiences. As a result, they can put on new and experimental plays.

From "Club"



Read out the answers:

1. What is the system of having the same group of actors acting in dif­ferent plays called?

2. How many theatres in Britain work on this system ?

3. Do they work in winter?

4. When do the actors in rep perform a play , and when do they rehearse the next play?

5. Why do they all meet on Monday morning?

6. What is the best way of learning about the acting world?




Read the text and find out what channels are there on the British TV


Watching television is one of the great British pastimes. Broadcasting in the United Kingdom is controlled by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA). The BBC receives its income from the government, but the private companies controlled by the IBA earn money from advertising.

The BBC has two TV channels. BBC 2 has more serious programmes and news features. The IBA is responsible for looking after the regional independent TV companies who broadcast their own programmes and those they have bought from other regions. There is a break for advertisements about every 15-20 minutes. The most recent independent channel is called Channel 4 and it has more specialized programmes than the main channels. In general, people think the programmes offered on British television are of a very high standard. Some people, however, are becoming worried about the amount of violence on TV, and the effects this may have on young people.

TV and Radio are also two of the main teaching channels used by the Open University. This "university of the air" allows many thousands of students to study at home for degrees they never would have obtained in the main educational system. They also have to do without sleep as most of their programmes are broadcast early in the morning or late at night.



Find and read the answers to the following questions

  1. What companies earn money for advertising?
  2. How many channels does the BBC have?
  3. What other channels are there?
  4. What is the function of the Open University?





Read the text and find out what forms of music influenced pop music

Pop music has always been influenced by other forms of music: by jazz, the blues, classical music, etc. Another important influence is folk music.

Folk songs are the songs composed and sung by country people. The songs may be hundreds of years old, so nobody knows who originally composed them. Folk music is often music for dancing. In Britain it was traditionally played on instruments like the fiddle (another name for the violin), flute, bagpipes, accordion, concertina, etc.

In the 1950s and 1960s the people who wrote songs and played them on acoustic guitars were also called folk singers. The songs were often "protest songs", telling about bad things happening in society. Famous American singers of this type included Woody Gutrie in the 1950s, and Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and James Taylor in the 1960s. When these people appeared on the stage they were called contemporary folk singers.

Bob Dylan, for example, influenced a generation in the early 1960s with protest songs like Blowing in the Wind and by 1965 had become the biggest force in rock music. Dressed in blue jeans and a black jacket with a grey scarf which was wrapped around his throat, Dylan walked onto the stage, with an electric guitar over his shoulder, and along with the Band, sounded the first notes of the concert. "

In the 1960s several pop groups began to play tradi­tional folk songs in the style of pop or rock music. Groups like Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span became famous playing "electric folk". Other musicians are also influenced by the style of English folk songs. The tradi­tional folk song, in the style it was sung over one hundred years ago, is still popular with a lot of people in England. There are traditional folk clubs in most towns because people are interested in folk music. Even more popular is traditional Irish music.

In parts of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales people still play folk music, although they also watch television and listen to pop records like everyone else.



Find in the text the answers to the questions:


  1. Who are folk songs composed and sung by ?
  2. What instruments was folk music traditionally played on in Britain ?
  3. What did the “protest songs” tell about?
  4. Find and read about the singers of the 1950s and 1960s.
  5. What was Bob Dylan famous for?




Read the text and find out why Japanese comic books are so popular.

Comic books started out as collections of comic strips from newspapers. They were known as

'funny books', or 'funnies', because the comic strips were humorous. It wasn' t until the 1930s

that the first adventure stories started to appear. The heroes of these stories were characters like

Dick Tracy and the Phantom. But although they had some cool gadgets, these heroes were still

just ordinary people. Then in June 1938 ā new comic came out. It had ā new kind of hero. His powers were far greater than any normal person. Íå could run faster than ā train. Íå could jump over tall buildings. His name was Superman, and he wasn' t just ā hero, he was ā superhero.

Since Superman made his debut there have been many comic book superheroes. Most worked

alone, but sometimes they teamed up with other superheroes. The Justice Society of America (JSA for short) was ā crime-fighting team of nine superheroes. They included the Flash, who was described as 'the fastest man alive'; and the Gãåån Lantern, who got his special powers from ā magic ring. Today the most popular superhero team is the Õ-Ėån.

Outside the US, comics have developed in different ways. Japanese comics (known as 'manga') include many more topics than American comics do. This is probably why so many Japanese read manga. In fact, manga account for 40 per cent of all book and magazine sales in Japan. Topics range from giant robots and time travel to cooking, sport, romance, and much mîãå. There is also ā huge variety of artistic styles. Although manga are starting to become popular outside Japan, they still aren' t as well known as American comic books.



Circle the best answer, a, b, c or d, to each of the following questions.


1. Characters like Dick Tracy

a. had special powers.

b. appeared in funny comic strips in newspapers.

c. didn't have any special powers.

d. were the first superheroes.


2. The superheroes in the Justice Society of America

a. always worked alone.

b. sometimes worked together.

c. fought against each other.

d. got their special powers from a rnagic ring.


3. Manga are different from American comics because

a. manga have more topics.

b. manga have more fans.

c. manga are more well known.

d. manga don't have superheroes.


4. Peter Parker works as

a. a major in the US Army.

b. a photographer and a teacher.

c. a doctor.

d. the editor-in-chief of a newspaper.


5. Both Wonder Woman and Superman

a. can fly.

b. are super-strong and super-fast.

c. have x-ray vision.

d. cannot be injured by bullets.


6. Simon Good's mother wants him to

a. protect people.

b. stop crime.

c. tidy his room.

d. save people's lives.


Date: 2015-12-24; view: 1359

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