Francesca Beard: Chinese Whispers

This project is something out of the ordinary for BritLit as it supports a major piece of performance poetry. The materials here have been designed to support a series of workshops and performances of ‘Chinese Whispers' by Francesca Beard, one of the UK's leading performance poets.

Classroom materials

Audio files

  • 2.25Mb Mp3 - Tescos listening
  • 1.8Mb Mp3 - Ways to die listening
  • 885Kb Mp3 - Shroedinger's cat listening

To download audio, right click on audio file in the Attachment below and save to your computer.

The performance is challenging, thought provoking, interactive and amusing. For the language learner it is a tricky event to negotiate - 60 minutes of fast monologue, punctuated with a few songs and some fun audience participation. Yet the topics dealt with are serious - identity and self-awareness, particularly when related to language and multi-culturalism. This kit helps teachers and students through some of the issues dealt with - from what happens when an altercation happens in a queue in Tesco's supermarket, through the problem of quantum mechanics and Schroedinger's cat (imagine you were the cat) to selecting your own ways to die.

The kit contains downloadable worksheets and projects and some audio files of Francesca performing parts of the show. This is very much a piece of work in progress and will be added to, and perhaps taken away from, from time to time. Should you want to discuss any of the material please contact

Visit Francesca's own website at

About BritLit
The original purpose behind these kits was to prepare students for 'Animating literature' events when the authors visit schools and work with the students. Used flexibly these kits will give students and their teachers enough information to understand something of the author and their works and therefore be able to make the most intelligent use of the visit.

Visits to schools by authors are usually arranged by the local British Council office. If you want to discuss this possibility for your school then please first contact your local British Council office.

See a list of British Council offices worldwide

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