hello I’m Jill at Ingvild and we have a lesson today on idioms that come from the theater okay so idioms and metaphors which are used in everyday life but they come originally from actors and actresses playing in the theater on a stage in front of an audience with lighting and all of that so let’s have a look so first of all before you go on the stage you’re waiting at the side and the side of the stage on both sides is called the wings it’s like a bird with wings the two sides are the wings where you can stand and the audience can’t see you because you’re hidden behind something behind a wall behind a curtain so waiting in the wings is usually when you’re just about to go on to the stage to do your bit of acting and you’re waiting to hear your cue if you have a cue that’s the lines you hear another actor say when you know oh it’s my turn now I’ve got to go on when I hear that so you’re waiting in the wings ready to go on to the stage for your appearance so that’s the literal meaning from the theatre but in in normal life people can be said to be waiting in the wings if they’re waiting for an opportunity for something so it may be in a in a company in a business someone is waiting for promotion but there isn’t a space for them yet maybe they’re waiting for somebody to retire a director or something to retire so they can move into their place so you could say the the manager is waiting in the wings to become a director which is another step up so that’s waiting in the wings if you’re waiting for an opportunity to come where you can move forward or upwards okay good so and then after you’ve been waiting in the wings in the theater you make an entrance you come onto the stage as your character so making an entrance and also once you’ve been on stage and you’ve done your part you have to get off again so you’ve got to make an exit entrance exit so that’s literally in the theatre but in in normal everyday life as well if somebody makes an entrance into a room they might do it in a certain way to attract attention to themselves so if there’s a party going on and somebody comes a bit late and but she’s someone who likes to attract attention so that this woman made an entrance at the party and maybe she was talking loudly or doing something or the way she walked in was in a very noticeable way so making an entrance is drawing attention to yourself okay and also if you make an exit you could also do it in quite a noticeable way if you want to maybe if you’ve had an argument with somebody and you want to go in in a quite a strong way you don’t just want to disappear without them noticing you might want to slam the door behind you or something make a lot of noise bang the door as you go making an exit in a dramatic way like in the theatre okay right next one in the theater if you upstage somebody what it means is if if you’re both on stage and the audience is in front but one character one actor is further back and then there’s another character further forward but this character further forward needs to look at this actor behind them but if they do that it means

they have to turn away from the audience which isn’t good it’s never good to turn your back on the audience but if this actor here at the back if they’re not prepared to come forward to make life easier for you so that you don’t have to turn right round to look at them they are upstaging you because upstage is this way away from the audience and downstage is that way towards the audience so to upstage someone is to make them look away from the audience so it’s not a very good thing to do it’s very difficult for the actor who has to turn round or if if the person at the back is just doing something very noticeable the person further forward the actor near the front is supposed to be the main focus of the scene but if this actor at the back is standing here and doing something very noticeable and drawing attention to themselves and maybe making a funny face or something and the audience are looking at this actor instead of that one then they’re taking attention away from the actor who should have the focus so also that means upstaging as well taking focus away from the person who should have the the attention so in in everyday life as well people can upstage other people by taking attention away from somebody who should have who people should be listening to and they sort of distract people and take take take the focus away from that person onto themselves which is not always a nice thing to do okay so it’s not nice to upstage somebody if it’s their turn to speak and then they get interrupted or something okay so next one a hard act to follow that that was a hard act to follow this is in the theater if if there’s a really good actor and the audience loved them and then they go offstage another actor comes on and they they think oh dear that actor who’s just been onstage they were so good I don’t know if I can equal them I think the audience could be disappointed by me that was a hard act to follow if you’re following an act which was very good you have to try to equal it if not better it so it’s not easy to do to follow a really good Act so in everyday life as well you could say if someone’s giving a presentation and it was a really good presentation and then it’s somebody else’s turn to do their presentation and they might come up and say well that was very interesting that presentation that was a hard act to follow but I will try to do my best and make this interesting so it can be used in in that way right so break a leg you might think it’s not a very nice thing to say to somebody that if you you don’t really want them to break their leg but this is what people say to actors when they’re about to go on stage because if you say good luck if you say good luck actors don’t like that they think it’s bad luck if you say good luck they say oh no no don’t say that don’t say that ah no it will all go wrong if you say that they won’t even say the words so don’t say good luck to an actor you say break a leg instead so it sort of sounds like bad luck but if you say break a leg it will probably not happen okay so that’s what people say two actors break a leg and they say thank you they even thank you for saying it so in real life maybe

people don’t say it so much unless unless they know about the theater saying and if someone is about to give a presentation or they’re doing something important giving a talk or something somebody might say break a leg and because people know that’s the sort of meaning that it has okay just rub that out okay next one the show must go on there’s a thing in the theater when you you try really hard not to let anything stop you having the show because the show is the theaters business and if the show doesn’t go on then you may have to give people their money back for their tickets and all of that you have to be really strong and even if you’re not feeling well as an actor if you have a cold or something you might have a sore throat which is a disaster because how can you speak your lines if you have a bad throat but you have to try so most of the time people try really hard to go on even if they’re not feeling a hundred percent well so they say well the show must go on and even if you know if there’s something wrong with the building although there are health and safety things where you can’t have the general public coming in if the building isn’t safe but apart from that people do say the show must go on the people are determined to have the show it has to be something really serious to stop our show happening I mean sometimes there’s a power cut there’s no electricity so that makes it more or less impossible nowadays to have the show but normally if everything’s working the show must go on so in everyday life as well people who are determined to do something even with difficulties if there are difficulties they say no we can’t let that stop us the show must go on so they they carry on we’ve got to carry on and do this it shows sort of strength of character and determination so Dee to me and nation so okay and similarly to get the show on the road this is often when in the theatre when there is a tour people go on tour they go to different cities to perform a show if it’s a very popular they may visit different cities and they may spend a week or two in each city going around the country and then back to London again or wherever they’ve come from to do a tour of the show so you have to get the show on the road literally because you have to take all your costumes and maybe furniture to go on the stage and the set and everything and of course the actors and all the people who the crew the people who do the sound and the lighting all the technical things they have to be there as well all the people who do the the you know the practical things that make the show happen so you get the show on the road it means let’s get this going and make it happen so people use that in ordinary life as well just for anything if you’re having a party you’ve got to organize it you’ve got to get the food you have to invite people you have to get the show on the road so anything in in business as well if you’re organising something an exhibition anything like that a meeting for a meeting just for some customers you’ve got to get ready for it you have to get the show on the road okay right so then to steal the show to steal is to

take something that doesn’t belong to you so it’s a crime to steal something if you see some money or somebody’s purse or wallet it’s a very bad thing to take it knowing it belongs to somebody else that’s stealing and walking away with it so to steal the show in the theater it’s a bit like the upstaging but it also refers to someone who is such a good performer who they just do such a fantastic brilliant performance that everybody thinks they’re amazing and they do really steal the show because everybody notices them more than the other performers and that that can just happen you know a star someone who’s a star then David that’s that the talent that they have and they’re using it and they so they should so the star of the show they steal the show because everybody watches them and is impressed with them so that’s it but in everyday life as well somebody can steal the show by just being more noticeable and doing something better than their their colleagues if they’ve done something really good they’ve taken attention away from everybody else and perhaps they deserve that attention if they’re really good at what they do okay right so then to be in the limelight in the theater at one time before electricity the lighting used especially down at the bottom of the at the stage below the feet of the performer work was some lighting a bit like we have here we have some lights that are shining up from the floor it was a bit like that but it wasn’t electric it was made from this stuff called lime which is a kind of powdery stuff I think which you can you can burn it and it creates light so lime light his lime which is burning and you get a light from it and that was used in the theater before electricity to create some light to shine up at the actors from below okay so to be in the limelight means to have a lot of light on you so people notice you but also it’s still used even though theaters don’t use lime anymore to light people they’ve got electricity but people still use this term in a metaphorical way to be in the limelight and it just means somebody who is the center of attention for for whatever reason everybody is noticing them for something that they’re doing if they’re good at something they’re in the limelight if they’re on television in films all the time they’re in the limelight okay and so this one is similar as well to be where in the spotlight a spotlight is a light usually that shines from above and it’s usually a circular light and it shines on to somebody from hanging from the ceiling usually and they’re different colors and so on and they’re pointing from different directions but if you’re in the spotlight again light is shining on you you’re the center of attention so that can apply in the theater literally and also in everyday life if you’re in the spotlight everybody’s watching you everybody’s interested in what you’re doing okay this one to make a song and dance about something of course in the theatre people sing and dance that’s part of the performance that you expect it if you go to a musical show people are singing and dancing that’s what you want to see in everyday life people don’t do so much singing and dancing because they’re just

doing ordinary things but metaphorically this means if somebody is making a big drama out of something they’re making it seem more important than it is if I don’t know if you’re having just a party and you’ve just got to guests coming not a lot of people just two people coming so you could just you know make the arrangements and and not make a big a big fuss about it so it’s about making a fuss making a lot of trouble about it so if you just maybe you’re getting very anxious and you’re you’re causing a lot of trouble about it instead of just relaxing and getting on with it and just do the few practical things that you need to do if you make a song and dance about it it’s a bit annoying so if the person you’re living with is getting a bit annoyed and thinking you’re making too much of something they might say you know can you stop making a song and dance about it this is only two people coming for for lunch or something go for tea a cup of tea and a piece of cake it doesn’t have to be a big dramatic thing so that’s sort of exaggerating the importance of something okay and then the last one on this side of the board if you say it’s curtains for somebody it’s curtains for him or it’s curtains for her in the theatre of course you often have curtains that open and close which hide what’s behind them the stage and then when the show begins the curtains open or the curtain rises from below up like that but at the end of the show as well.you the curtains closed that way or the curtain comes down that way so curtains means the end okay so if it’s curtains for him in everyday life it means it’s the end for him either somebody’s job has come to an end somebody has left or is about to leave there’s no job for them anymore something like that so it’s curtains for that person it’s the end okay right so I hope that’s been useful and I just wanted to end with a little bit of a quotation from Shakespeare and you may have seen my other a couple of lessons on Shakespeare Shakespeare in everyday life language in everyday life from Shakespeare’s plays and also we have a lesson on a Shakespeare sonnet so please look out for those so this is just a short quotation from a Shakespeare play which is called as you like it which is a comedy and it comes from act 2 scene 7 if you want to look for it but if you just google it you will find it with the first line and the person who says these words is a funny character called Jake wheeze who is a rather sort of cynical melancholy sad person so this is his opinion it doesn’t mean it’s what Shakespeare thought it may be partly what Shakespeare thought but it’s coming from a character who was a little bit a bit gloomy a bit sad a bit pessimistic so bear that in mind so what Jake wheeze says in the play is all the a stage so this fits in with the fact that we have theatrical metaphors which are used in everyday life all the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players merely means only or just and players are actors people who perform okay they have their exits and their entrances they they go out and they come back they appear they disappear they come and go they have their exits and their entrances and one

man in his time plays many parts so one man in in his lifetime that is the length of his life plays like an actor many parts different characters his acts being seven ages so according to Jake Ruiz he’s thinking of a man starting off as a baby and then as he grows up he becomes a schoolboy going to school and then he he falls in love he becomes a lover he might write love poetry to somebody then he becomes a soldier perhaps and then as he gets older he becomes a justice which is like a judge a legal person who decides on criminal cases and so on so he becomes a professional legal person and he uses this word Pantaloon which just means a silly old man that you just laugh at because he’s become a little bit a bit foolish as he’s got older and then finally a very very old man who he was only just alive still so so that’s Jake wheeze being the pessimistic person and saying you know how sad it is people get old and then that’s it and that’s their life it’s just divided up into possibly seven different roles or characters that they play so that’s a metaphor like this really in Reverse using the theatre as a metaphor for everyday life and people having roles and characters to play so I hope that’s been interesting for you and introduced you to some new vocabulary as well and some idioms that you could use yourself so if you’d like to go to the website in vidcom there’s a quiz on this subject and thank you for watching and hope to see you again soon okay bye for now bye