— Well, you can have very good seats in the stalls. Row F.
— Oh, no! It's near the orchestra-pit. My wife can't stand loud music.
— Then I could find you some seats in the pit.
— I'm afraid that won't do either. My father-in-law is terribly short-sighted. He wouldn't see much from the pit, would he?
— Hm... Perhaps, you'd care to take a box?
— Certainly not! It's too expensive. I can't afford it. — Dress-circle then?
— I don't like to sit in the dress-circle.
— I'm afraid the only thing that remains is the gallery.
— How can you suggest such a thing! My mother-in-law is a stout woman with a weak heart. We couldn't dream of letting her walk up four flights of stairs, could we?
— I find, sir, that there isn't a single seat in the housethat would suit you.
— There isn't, is there? Well, I think we'd much better go to the movies. As for me, I don't care much for this theatre-going business. Good day!
TEXT Ń. PANTOMIMES
Sally: Tony, there's an advertisement in the local paper saying that the theatre in the High Street is putting on "Cinderella". I haven't seen a pantomime for years and years. Do you fancy going?
Tony: Yeh, that sounds good. I don't think I've seen one since I was about fourteen — except for one on ice when I was crazy about skating, and that's not quite the same thing, is it?
Sally: No. Ice shows don't have all the wonderful traditional scenery and that gorgeous theatre atmosphere.
Tony: Pantomimes are awfully old, if you think about it, aren't they? I mean with a girl playing the part of the principal boy, all dressed up in tights and tunic ...
Sally: Mm, and the dame parts taken by men. I've never seen "Cinderella". I suppose the stepmother and the ugly sisters are the men's parts in that.
Tony: Aladdin used to be my favourite, when a comedian played the Widow Twankey. And when Aladdin rubbed the magic lamp an enormous genie appeared ...
Sally: And the audience booing the wicked uncle, and joining in the singing of the popular songs they always manage to get into the play somehow.
Tony: Yes! I wonder how on earth they manage to fit today's pop songs into pantomime stories?
Sally: Well, why don't we get tickets and find out?
Tony: Yes, OK. Come on, then.
ESSENTIAL VOCABULARY (II)
act υ gallery n properties acting n
interval n (props) n balcony n lighting n
repertoire n box n matinee n row n
cast n orchestra-pit n stage-manager n company n
pit n stalls n costumes n produce υ
(theatre-) house n director n producer n treatment n
dress-circle n production n
professional theatre the setting of a scene repertory company
light and sound effects amateur theatre to produce a play
I. Answer the following questions:
A. 1. What is the centre of theatrical activity in Great Britain? 2. Which theatrical companies receive financial support from Arts Council? 3. What is meant by a repertory theatre? 4. What do you know about the Royal Shakespeare Company? 5. What kind of performances are staged in the Royal Opera House? 6. Are there many theatres in or near the West (East) End of London? 7. What kind of music is popular in England? 8. Are there any amateur theatres in Great Britain? 9. What leading actors of the British theatre do you know? 10. How are the British Arts Councils going to celebrate approach of the millennium?
B. 1. How is the Russian theatre organized? 2. What Russian theatres are best known in Russia and abroad? 3. Is attendance at our theatres high? 4. How many times a month (a year) do you go to the theatre? 5. Are there any amateur theatres in Russia?
II. Try your band at teaching:
A. Preparation, a) Find picture representing a theatre-house, b) Study the footnotes on p. 327 describing a theatre-house and its parts, c) Write questions to provoke answers containing all the new words.
B. Work in class. Ask your questions, listen to the an- -swers and correct the student's mistakes.