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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Let’s look at some of the vocabulary you’ve heard in this week’s videos. One of the visitors to Shakespeare’s birthplace said that theatre companies all over the world perform Shakespeare’s plays. Listen to what Geraldine says. And everywhere you go, people put on Shakespearean shows. “People put on Shakespearean shows.” This means that theatre companies organise and perform the plays of Shakespeare. So, you could say, “The theatre in my town is putting on Romeo and Juliet next month.” Now listen to something James said about his grandfather. I grew up in the same house as my grandfather, and he quoted Shakespeare endlessly without me necessarily knowing. I think he quoted lots of different things.

Skip to 1 minute and 2 seconds If you quote someone, you say exactly the same words that they did. So if you say, “To be, or not to be,” you are quoting Shakespeare– or you’re quoting Shakespeare’s character, Hamlet.

Skip to 1 minute and 19 seconds Now let’s hear what Ben said about the work Shakespeare did in London. In his first decade in London, Shakespeare built up a reputation as one of the country’s most successful playwrights. A playwright is a person who writes plays. Notice the unusual spelling, which is different from the verb, to write. It ends in I-G-H-T. So Shakespeare worked as a playwright, and was also an actor. Here’s what Ben said about the group of actors that Shakespeare worked with. Shakespeare’s troupe of actors, the Chamberlain’s Men, had a disagreement with a landowner of their theatre. A troupe is a group of actors. So, you could say that your hope is to join your local theatre troupe and get a starring role.

Skip to 2 minutes and 16 seconds Ben also used a compound noun. That’s a noun made of two words, joined together– to mean people who go to the theatre. Listen out for it here. In Shakespeare’s time, this area of London was not only home to actors and theatregoers– Did you hear it? The word is theatregoer. So, you could say, “I’m a regular theatregoer. I usually see one or two plays each month.” So, we’ve learned five words. Two are verbs– things you can do with Shakespeare. Theatres can put on a Shakespeare play. And you can quote lines from your favourite play. And three are nouns describing people. A troupe is a group of actors or performers. A playwright writes plays. And a theatregoer goes and watches them.

Skip to 3 minutes and 15 seconds In the next step, you’ll practise using these words.

Theatre vocabulary

Anthony explains some of the theatre vocabulary we’ve heard in previous steps.

Which words do you hear Anthony explain? Share your ideas. In the next step, you’ll do a short quiz to check your understanding.

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This video is from the free online course:

Exploring English: Shakespeare

British Council