|He's got an arm off!!!!|
Warned them they wouldn't understand much, but not to worry - there wasn't going to be a test. A watch through the first 10 minutes or so of the film, without subtitles. Were they able to tell me anything about the characters or their interactions? Bugger all, really.
Scripts of scene one handed out. We read it several times, changing roles. Speaking slowly but as much acted as possible, reading for emotive content. Worked informally on linking and emphasis, especially on pronouncing phrases, not words. Developed the idea of Liz's frustration with Shaun. Then watched the relevant scene once more, again without subs.
Ditto with two more scenes.
All the scenes we read are from the first few minutes, in which the dynamics between the characters are established: Shaun is a thirtyish underachiever frittering his life away in a dead-end job. His flatmate/landlord Pete and longsuffering girlfriend Liz both berate his laziness and his attachment to the porcine, disfunctional Ed, long-term potato on their couch.
Mission accomplished? I think so far so good. When the hour was up, my protegés had made modest progress with really dense, rapid, colloquial English, both in production and reception. They had got a handle on the character dynamics, which are really the key to the comedy, at least until the shambling undead arrive.
Till then, keep those windows and doors shut.
Truth Stranger than Fiction.
EVEN STOPPER PRESS
Reality Stranger than Truth
EDIT: If you'd like the scripts for these scenes, join edmodo and send me a connection request. Sandy has blogged about it here.