English Teaching Theatre
Listen and Respond


Speech Skills Acquisition Sketch 6 The Passport Office  

The clerk is working at her desk. The man comes in and coughs twice.

Clerk Oh, good morning. Can I help you?

Man Yes. Have you got any passports?

`Clerk Yes, we have.

Man Oh, good. The shop next door hasnt got any. Id like twenty, please.

Clerk Twenty?

Man Yes. All different colours.

Clerk Im sorry. Thats impossible.

Man All right. All the same colour.

Clerk No, no - its impossible to have twenty passports.

Man Is it?

Clerk Yes. You can only have one.

Man Oh, all right. One passport, please.

He offers some money.

Clerk Just a minute. It isnt as easy as that. You have to answer some questions.

Man Oh.

Clerk What kind of passport do you want?

Man What kind of passport?

Clerk Yes.

Man A big round yellow one.

Clerk Weve only got small blue rectangular ones. When I say What kind?, I mean: How long?

Man How long?

Clerk How long? Five years? Ten years?

Man I want it today.

Clerk No, I mean: How long do you want it to last?

Man How long do I want it to last?

Clerk Yes

Man A hundred years.

Clerk A hundred years?!

Man Yes.

Clerk You cant have a passport for a hundred years.

Man Why not?

Clerk Er...l dont know. All right - a passport for a hundred years. Now, we have to fill in this form. Er...Do sit down.

Man Oh, thank you.

He sits down.

Clerk Now...first question. Name.

Man William Shakespeare.

Clerk William Shakespeare?

Man Yes.

Clerk Is that your name?

Man No, but its a very nice name.

Clerk Yes, but whats your name?

Man Oh, my name. Sorry.

Clerk Well, what is it?

Man Smith.

Clerk (Writing) Smith.

Man (in a high voice) That's right. Smith. S-M-l-T-H.

Clerk Pardon?

Man Smith, thats right.

Clerk And whats your first name, Mr Smith?

Man (In a high voice) Charles.

Clerk Pardon?

Man Charles.

Clerk (Writing) Charles.

Man (In a low voice) Thats right.

The clerk is puzzled.

Clerk Mr Smith?

Man (In a high voice) Yes?

Clerk Theres something rather strange about the way you speak.

Man Is there?

Clerk Yes. When I say your family name -

Man Smith.

Clerk Yes, Smith -

Man (In a high voice) Yes?

Clerk Your voice goes up.

Man Does it?

Clerk Yes. And when I say your first name -

Man Charles.

Clerk Yes, Charles -

Man (In a low voice) Yes?

Clerk Your voice goes down.

Man Er...yes, its true. Its a very big problem when Im having a conversation.

Clerk Thats right.

Man But there is a solution.

Clerk What is it?

Man You can call me by a different name.

Clerk A different name?

Man Yes. Then we can have a normal conversation.

Clerk Oh, good. What name would you like?

Man Brunhilde.

Clerk What?

Man Call me Brunhilde.

Clerk Brunhilde -

Man - Schwarzkopf.

Clerk I beg your pardon?

Man Schwarzkopf. Brunhilde Schwarzkopf. Just write it down.

Clerk (Suspicious) Write it down?

Man Oh, yes - you must write it down. You see, if I see my real name on a piece of paper, my voice goes funny. (In a high voice) Look, there it is -

He taps the form.

Man (In a high voice) - Quick! Smith! Cross it out! Cross it out!

Clerk Oh. Right.

The clerk crosses out his name.

Man Thats better.

Clerk (Writing) Now...Brunhilde Schwarzkopf. Well, Miss Schwarzkopf, there are one or two more questions. Er...Question two: Address.

Man Pardon?

Clerk Address.

Man No, it isnt.

Clerk What?

Man It isnt a dress. I'm not wearing a dress. Its a raincoat.

Clerk No, no - address, address!

Man No, no - a raincoat, a raincoat!

Clerk Look - where do you live!

Man Oh, where do I live?

Clerk Yes

Man Round the corner.

Clerk Can you be more exact?

Man Er.. .just round the corner.

Clerk Brunhilde! What is your address?

Man OK, OK. My address is 14...Brunhilde Street.

Clerk (Writing) 14, Brun - Ah! That means 14 Smith Street, doesn't it?

Man (In a high voice) No - 14, Charles Street.

Clerk 14, Charles Street.

Man (in a low voice) Thats right.

Clerk Now... nationality.

Man Er...just write British.

Clerk Are you British?

Man It doesnt matter. Just write British.

Clerk Brunhilde, are you or are you not British?

Man That is a very good question.

Clerk And what is the answer?

Man Its a bit complicated.

Clerk All right, then. Lets start at the beginning. Where were you born?

Man I dont remember.

Clerk You dont remember.

Man No.

Clerk Why not?

Man I was very young at the time.

Clerk Well, what about your father and mother?

Man They were older than me.

Clerk Brunhilde! Tell me about your mother.

Man She was very nice...tall, with a long black beard.

Clerk Your mother?

Man Oh no, that was my father...

Clerk (Angry) All right! Thats enough! I don't want to hear any more! Just take your passport -

Man Oh, thank you.

She gives him a passport.

Clerk - put a photograph in it, and go anywhere in the world. But don't come back here!

She leaves the office.

Man Hmmm...A British passport, in the name of Brunhilde Schwarzkopf. Excellent. Brunhilde!

His girl-friend, Brunhilde, comes in.

Brunhilde Ja?

Man Ive got a passport for you.

Brunhilde ja?

Man Now we can go anywhere in the world.

Brunhilde Ja!

Man What about a holiday in the sun?

Brunhilde ja!

Man (To himself) She doesnt understand a word I say.

Brunhilde Ja!