PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE AND CONTINUOUS
AS YOU LIKE IT (by W. Shakespeare) Act II, Scene 7.
All the world`s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse`s arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel,
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad
Made to his mistress` eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon`s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin`d,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper`d pantaloon
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose well sav`d a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends his strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything,
P = Producer
D = Director
P Well, that was very interesting, wasn`t it, Derek?
D Mmm, very interesting indeed, yes. But I think it`s given us more problems than um….. than it`s taken away. I mean, I don`t think there`s one obvious candidate � did you feel that?
P Oh, yes, I think so. I thought they all had strengths, and I don`t think it`s going to be an easy choice.
D No … Well, let`s go through them, shall we? Let`s take Bill first. I thought he did rather well in the audition. The voice was right, and, well, he was very funny in places, he caught that comic side of Micawber when everything`s gone wrong all around him. No?
P Um, yes, I agree. Yes, I think he caught the character very well, certainly, but …
P … It`s his past that worries me a little, I know he`s had a lot of experience in character parts, but it`s all been in the theatre, hasn`t it, not on television, and as you`ve found yourself, it`s not the same at all. The camera`s so close on television, isn`t it?
D Yeah. What`s he been doing recently? Has he been in much?
P Well, no, in fact. He`s been out of work for about nine months, and not helped by a bit of a drink problem. I don`t know if you noticed…
D Mmm, yes, he forgot one or two lines, didn`t he?
D Well, I don`t know. I still think he did well. What about the next? Who was it? Harry, wasn`t it?
P Yes. Now I thought Harry was great. He said his lines so confidently, and his timing was superb. I think he was really made for the part.
D You seem to have made up your mind, don`t you?
P Yes. Well, no, it was just that when I closed my eyes, I could really picture him in the part.
D Yes, well, for me Polly that`s just the point. I agree, he sounded very convincing. Hasn`t he just written a book on Dickens, or something?
P Yes, it`s called The Spirit of Dickens.
D Well, that`s just what he did, he caught the spirit of this rather self-important old man, but to me he just doesn`t look the part. I mean, how old is he?
P He`s … let me look… erm, he`s thirty-eight.
D Yes, you see, too young, and I think too tall. Now Bill`s the right age, at least.
P I know what you mean, but he`s got so much experience of the stage and the television.
He`s been with the Royal Shakespeare Company for years, and I think we could probably work on the appearance side, you know. Make-up would age him.
D Harry didn`t look right, whereas Bill did. And I do wonder about make-up to make someone look older on television. It never looks quite right.
P Well, maybe another part for him? Not Micawber?
D Possibly. You might be right. Let`s move on to Victor. Now there`s a problem.
P How do you mean?
D He`s the one with the greatest strengths and also the greatest weaknesses. I mean, he`s a household name, everybody knows him, and well I think having him in the part would attract a lot of viewers, but…
P … but his experience is light comedy, situation comedy, not character parts like this.
D You took the words right out of my mouth -that`s just what I was going to say. The problem is, he plays himself, and it`s true, he`s a very funny man.
P But could he adapt? I thought he auditioned quite well, actually. He`s the right age, and the face fits.
D But the audience would identify with his other characters, and say �Oh look! There`s Victor O�Brian playing a Dickens character!� They wouldn`t say �Isn`t Mr Micawber good! I wonder who he is?�
P The question is, how adaptable is he? I think with guidance he could be OK. And he`s very keen. He`s been trying to break away from those situation comedy roles for years, but producers won`t let him.
D Well, you`re the producer!
P (laughs) Oh well, what are we going to do?
D Let`s just make a note of their good points and bad points again. Let`s take Bill…
A dictation of names and places
1 My name`s Jameson. That`s J-A-M-E-S-O-N. I`ll spell it again for you.
2 Do you need my full name? My first name`s Juliet. J-U-L-I-E-T. Yes, J-U-L-I-E-T.
And my surname`s Henderson. Hen-der-son – H-E-N-D-E-R-S-O-N.
3 A My Christian name is Stephen.
B Now, there are different ways of spelling that, aren`t there?
A Yes. Mine`s P-H.
A You spell it S-T-E-P-H-E-N.
B Thank you.
4 A Place of birth, please madam.
B Loughborough. L-O-U-G-H-B-O-R-O-U-G-H. Would you like me to spell it again? L-O-U-G-H-B-O-R-O-U-G-H.
5 Hello, I`d like to order a book by Gerald Leary. Hello? It`s not a very good line, is it? Gerald Leary. Gerald G-E-R-A-L-D.
Leary � L-E-A-R-Y. That`s it. The title of the book is The Secret Life of Plants.
6 Hello, er – I have a reservation. The name`s Mahoney – M-A-H-O-N-E-Y.
7 My surname`s Bailey – B-A-I-L-E-Y.
8 A Where do you live?
B A suburb of London called Greenwich.
B No, no. G-R-double E-N-W-I-C-H. Greenwich.
9 A Hello. I have an appointment with Miss Jenkins.
B Your name please?
A Seabourne. S-E-A-B-O-U-R-N-E.
10 A I`m living in a place called Gloucester.
B How do you spell that?
A G-L-O-U-C-E-S-T-E-R. Gloucester.