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— I want four seats for Sunday, please.

— Matinee or evening performance?

— Evening, please.

— 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 house[80] that 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!


Sally: Tony, there's an advertisement in the local paper saying that the theatre in the High Street is putting on[81] "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.



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

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