Musical English Lessons International, England

Established since 1993

This free website has been created especially for you by Bibi Baxter (International Author, Teacher & ESL/EFL Materials Specialist)  <>()<> This website contains 'something' for everyone <>()<> Established since 1993, Musical English Lessons International are the only world-wide suppliers of special ESL/EFL study ideas by Bibi Baxter (formerly Bibi Boarder)

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PROBLEMS ALWAYS SOLVE THEMSELVES EVENTUALLY

(An example of a monologue)

by Bibi Baxter

USEFUL LANGUAGE NOTES:
  • When writing a monologue; it is not usually recommended for it to be written with 'an accent' (northern accents in particular); as the author's spelling could limit the actor's interpretation.  Having said this, the following is written to demonstrate how a Cockney speaks - a Cockney is a Londoner born within the sound of the Bow Bells, who has a distinctive accent and a certain way of speaking.  
  • No Cockney Slang has been included;  however, examples of this can be found on the Net.  Search Google for 'Cockney Slang'.
  • Word order can vary from the norm as follows:  
    • 'Beautifully written, it was' instead of 'It was beautifully written.'
    • 'Jumped at the chance, I did.' instead of 'I jumped at the chance.'
  • Cockneys tend to 'swallow' the ends of their words, using a glottal stop, especially if they end in 'T'.  Some languages, e.g. Arabic,  include a glottal stop in their alphabet;  English, however, does not.  Therefore, the use of the glottal stop is considered poor pronunciation in England. 
  • Words ending in ING often lose the G sound altogether. 
  • Syllables are squeezed together (e.g. wond'rin' = wondering)
  • The first syllable is often omitted, (e.g. 'bout = about)
  • They tend to drop their aitches, so words beginning with H are spoken without the H.
  • In addition, the 'T' sound within a word (e.g. better),  also is pronounced with a glottal stop in England.   Compare this with the American pronunciation of beTTer, where the T sound is replaced by a soft D sound. In the UK, the use of a glottal stop and/or soft D sound instead of T is considered poor pronunciation;  however, the American pronunciation is acceptable as normal, when spoken by a speaker with an American accent.
  • Th (as in mother) is pronounced as a Vand spelt with double V.
  • Th (as in thing) is pronounced as an F.
  • Londoners tend to use the word 'bugger'.  This is a word which is often unacceptable in polite society, as it has a sexual connotation and was once considered a swear word.  Londoners use it as follows:-
    • Bugger me! = Blow me!
    • Bugger it! = What a nuisance!
    • You little bugger! (referring to a child) = You little rascal!

PEDAGOGIC SUGGESTIONS

  • Convert the monologue to standard English spellings.
  • Develop the story before and after the point which features the monologue.
  • Try reading it one paragraph at a time, as it is spelt, i.e. with a Cockney accent, then compare that pronunciation with standard pronunciation.  Cockneys tend to sound indignant when recounting a situation.

PROBLEMS ALWAYS SOLVE THEMSELVES EVENTUALLY (ONE WAY OR ANOTHER)

(An example of a monologue)

by Bibi Baxter

Backstory: 

A screech of tyres is heard as a vehicle dangerously takes the corner on the wrong side of the road.  His breathing is so laboured, it is painful to hear.  You can almost smell the fear of the driver as he frantically steers his battered vehicle to a deserted, ramshackle building on the edge of town. All the while, he checks his mirror to see if he is being followed. He conceals the car in a corner of the car-park, using a discarded tarpaulin, then races around the building until he finds a way to force entry.

Monologue

OPENING SCENE:  His face covered in beads of sweat, the terrified fugitive is standing on a narrow ledge, beside a large, picture window, but out of sight of anyone inside the room, as he is behind a protruding section.  Below is deserted.  No-one is there to see or worry about him - no rescuers - no crowd.  Gasping for breath, he is a sickly, ferrety-looking, loser of a man, worthy of very little note.  As the wheezing subsides, his South London accent can be clearly identified......

‘Spose ya wond'ring what I’m doin’ up ‘ere, eh?  Well, I’ll tell ya.  I’m ‘iding from me bruvver.  Bit of a long story, but if ya’ve got the time, I ain’t goin’ nowhere.  I’ll just light up me fag, first.  He fishes out a cigarette from behind his ear, goes to light it, but drops the lighter.  He wistfully watches the lighter fall all the way to the ground.  Bugger me, if I can’t even do that right!   Oh, well! (long sigh, putting cigarette back behind his ear.)

It all started when I was learnt to use email.  Me bruv taught me and it certainly opened up a new world, alright!  Suddenly, I was gettin’ very friendly emails from people I didn’t even know.  Then one day ....... IT arrived! ‘Cor, stone the bleedin’ crows, I thought.  He contemplates the distance, shaking his head and clearly remembering that day (Fanfare of trumpets)

It was an email from a Fathi Fouladi (pronounced slowly and carefully), in Nigeria, offerin’ me a lot of money for doin’ practically nuffin’.  Ooohh! (wail of woe)  If only it hadn’t been a scam, I’d be so rich now.  Beautifully written, it was!  Well, this Fatty Foolhardy told me in ‘is email that ‘e was auditor-general at a top bank in Nigeria.  Said ‘e’d found an old, undisturbed account - full of money, ‘cos the owner and ‘is wife ‘ad died years ago.  ‘E wanted to transfer the money out of Nigeria and needed my ‘elp.  Well, ‘oo am I to refuse ‘elp?  ‘E said it would be worf my while.  Me reward would be 20%.  (He lowers his voice, conspirationally)  20% of 30 million dollars, would be 6 million dollars!  (His voice trails away as he dreamily envisages the $6 million.  He comes to with a start...)  No risk even - and only a little bit iffy, as the money wasn’t ‘is, see?  So ‘e asked me to keep it ‘ush, ‘ush.  Well, a nod’s as good as a wink, eh? (he nods, winks, then taps his nose to prove the point, followed by another sigh).   Jumped at the chance, I did.  Sent ‘im my account number by return. 

Suddenly, a screech of tyres can be heard.  He has a spluttering coughing fit,  then spits down to the ground.  He recovers his composure....

A very long week went by.  I ‘ad been on real tenter’ooks, wondrin’ if I’d be ‘earin’ any more from ‘im.   Suddenly, me mobile rang.  It was ‘im, phonin’ ME all the way from Nigeria!  That made me feel really important and I could feel me chest swellin’ wiv pride.  Farty Foolhardy was very apologetic.  Said ‘e ‘ad to pay a transfer fee to release the money, but ‘e would ‘ave no money of ‘is own ‘til the money was released.  Well, of course, I didn’t ‘esitate.  Any fool could see a layout of a grand was peanuts to the 6 million dollars they was goin’ to pay me!  So I took out a loan and sent it off to ‘em.

Dischordant orchestral note of pending doom

Next fing, I got a call from Ireland.  Said they was an offshore finance company and they ‘ad the funds ready, but required an ‘andling fee of 3,000 quid.  Well, by this time, I felt so close to that money, I could smell it.  Rushed down town, I did and took out a second loan.  They ‘ad given me an address in Ireland and I sent off anuvver buildin’ society cheque.  Felt like an international businessman, I did.   Started planning what I was goin’ to do wiv all the money, didn't I?

A triumphant fanfare, full of hope and expectancy.

Didn’t ‘ear nuffin’ for 3 weeks!  Real worried, I was.  Then I received a fax, sayin’ all the formalities ‘ad been cleared and they just needed proof of me ID.  Wanted photocopies of me passport and drivin’ licence.

A  panic-stricken chord, or set of notes      

(small voice)  I ‘ad neiver, on account of me losin’ me licence for ‘drivin’ under the influence’ and me passport ‘ad been confiscated, so I couldn’t go to away matches abroad.  Anyone would fink I was a trouble-maker at matches! (Said fiercely)

Foot slips again and he gasps, as he regains his balance. Looks sorry for himself, then triumphant  

Well, found a way round that problem alright, didn’t I?  Just sent copies of me bruvver’s ones.  Got the same initials, we ‘ave, see?   Me name’s Peter Brittle, but they all call me Peanut;  ‘e‘s Phillip.

Gloomy look and silence.

Never ‘eard from ol’ Farty again.  Me bruvver didn’t beat ‘bout the bush:  ‘You’ve been ‘ad,’ said ‘e.   Right cheesed off, I was - I can tell you!  Couldn’t afford to repay the loans or rent, so bailiffs came round an’ took everythin’, then landlord chucked me out.  Couldn’t go to the police, so went to stay wiv me bruvver, which pleased ‘im no end.  Still, ‘ runs a bar an’ ‘e knows all sorts of villains an’ conmen - one lot of ‘em work as a team;  real slick, they are.  They told me bruv they’d get me money back as a favour to ‘im.  AND THEY DID JUST THAT!

He reflects for a moment.

True to their word, they started to search out lots of these types of emails which are  apparently called 419 scams.  Don’t know how they managed it, but they ‘ad a lot of fun fleecing the scammers with red ‘errings among trees in The Black Forest and parcels on riverbeds.  I ‘eard they even devised tricky tongue twisters as passwords, just to spice things up a bit.  (Ever 'eard a Nigerian saying a tricky tongue twister?  Difficult enough for an English speaker.)

20,000 quid, they ‘anded over to me - not only was it enough to pay off both loans plus interest, but it also left me with enough to rent anuvver flat and furnish it.

Problem solved, you might think, or so it should ‘ave been.......... 

A catfight suddenly started below him and he watched intently, as they spat and snarled at each other, before running off.

Problem is. What I didn’t foresee, was that they ‘ad wanted the photocopies for ID theft.  They wanted to steal me identity, as well as me money, but ‘cos I sent me bruvver’s ID, they stole ‘is, ‘stead of mine and ‘e’s not too ‘appy ‘bout it, I can tell you.

A section of ledge gives way and his foot slips down.  He grabs wildly at the drainpipe to stop himself falling and successfully manages it, squeezing his foot onto the tiny remainder of the ledge to accompany his other foot.  He looks cross....

What’s more, them bleedin’ scammers are still runnin’ up credit card bills in ‘is name.  At the last count, me bruvver owed 87 grand and ‘e’s definitely out to kill me!  No doubt ‘bout that!

Well, now ya know why I’m out ‘ere.  Not quite sure ‘ow to get out of this fix.  Any ideas?  No?  Didn’t fink ya would ‘ave.  Never mind, the problem’ll solve itself, one way or anuvver. 

Suddenly, the ledge gives way altogether (discordant notes of panic) and he falls down awkwardly - beside the lighter.

He lifts himself up onto one elbow, obviously in great pain: Not quite the solution I was ‘oping for...... still, it’ll do.  He sinks back down, smiling - then expires noisily with a belch.  Footsteps can be heard approaching the window.

Quirky or solemn version of ‘The Funeral March’ as credits go up, to finalise the situation and to emphasise the black humour.  

 
 
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It is acknowledged that all maps, flags, poetry, lyrics, trademarks, trade names, used or referred to on this website are the property of their respective owners.  If you can supply relevant copyright information, please send it (together with your name & address)  to:  musicalenglishlessons@hotmail.com, or to: Copyright Details, Musical English Lessons International, Thimble Cottage, 99 High Street, Garlinge, Margate, Kent CT9 5LX 

<>()<>
Musical English Lessons International grants teachers & students  permission to copy and use (but not sell) any of the ideas & information featured on this website.  Please include a reference to the author & website as follows: 
© Pedagogic Copyright 1994-2007 Bibi Baxter of www.musicalenglishlessons.com 

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