This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.
Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index
You are in: Home > General & Business English
Webcast language
Talk about English

Listen online       Download mp3 (5.1 MB)       Download script (31 k)

This is an archive programme. For information about the latest programme go here >> [an error occurred while processing this directive]
Radio Drama Thursday, January 17th, 2008

Word Facts

Download the 'drama' Word Facts mp3 (914 KB)

Download the 'drama' Word Facts transcript (16 KB)

Our first word is the noun ‘dramatist’. A dramatist writes plays; they’re a ‘playwright’.

Shakespeare is considered by many people to be the world’s finest dramatist.

We also have the verb ‘to dramatise’. If you dramatise a book or a story, you make it into a play.

Someone should dramatise this new novel – the characters are really strange and the plot is gripping!

An adaptation. An adaptation is a film, TV programme or radio drama that has been made from a book or a play.

I loved that film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet – it was so beautiful to look at and I cried at the end!

Here’s a reminder of some words to do with plays and dramas.

The cast. The cast is the characters, or people, in a play.

Our next school play has a very big cast so everyone will get a chance to act.

The structure. The structure is the shape of the play. A radio play, for example, is usually divided into ‘scenes’, or parts, like a stage play. Sometimes several scenes are grouped together into an ‘act’.

The actors love the structure of this play because it has lots of funny scenes and all three acts are set in unusual locations.

The dialogue. The dialogue is the words spoken by the characters.

The dialogue is extremely important in a play because it reveals so much about the characters’ motives.

Now, some words and expressions to do with the theatre and plays - but you can also use them in everyday situations.

To suspend your disbelief. If you suspend your disbelief, you try to ignore your knowledge that what you are seeing isn’t true, especially when you are watching a film or a play.

Enjoy the movie – but get ready to suspend your disbelief – it’s a very silly plot!

To be waiting in the wings. If you’re waiting in the wings, you’re ready to do something if necessary or if a suitable time comes. In the theatre, it means you are literally waiting off-stage and ready to appear before the audience.

Sarah, can I ask you to be waiting in the wings during Michael’s presentation? He may need you to step forward and give your opinion too.

To be centre stage. If you’re centre stage, you have an important position and get a lot of attention. In the theatre, you are literally in the middle of the stage and therefore, the focus of the action.

After the boss retired, Clare could finally be centre stage.