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  Madame Tussaud's is one of the most popular attractions in London,

  Here can you be sure to see the Queen, the Beatles, Alfred Hitchcock, and a whole lot of famous and infamous people .....  
The Queen at Madame Tussauds
If you want to see the Queen, Madame Tusssaud's is the place to go !
     Many people like to see celebrities; but celebrities don't usually like being looked at - at least, not all day every day!
    There is, however, one place in England where you can look at celebrities - lots of them - every day: this is Madame Tussaud's, the most popular tourist attraction in London.
    On most days of the year, queues of visitors can be seen outside Madame Tussaud's, all wanting to get in and see some of the most famous people in the world - kings and queens, politicians, stars, and even famous criminals. They are all inside, just waiting to be looked at, or talked to.
    If you like, you can talk to film stars, politicians and even tyrants in Madame Tussaud's, but they won't say anything to you, because they can't! Madame Tussaud's is a wax-works, and the "famous people" in the building are really made out of wax.
    Judging by the popularity of Madame Tussaud's, that does not seem to be a problem! Ordinary people like looking at extraordinary people, even if they are only statues. It's better than nothing!

Marie Tussaud
Marie Tussaud
    Marie Tussaud was born in Strasbourg in 1765. As a child she learned how to make wax models of people, and later went to Paris. Then in 1802 she moved to England, touring round the country with her exhibition of wax figures. In 1835 (aged 70!), she finally settled in London. "Madame Tussaud's" has been one of the city's most popular exhibitions ever since.
    Naturally, the collection has changed and grown; Indeed, it keeps changing all the time. While there are some historic figures that do not change, others come and go, and others are "aged" as the years go by.
    The most popular figures in the exhibition are royalty and stars. Princess Diana has been the overall favourite for several years, and other popular figures include Tony Blair, David Beckham, Brad Pitt and Elvis Presley.... to mention just a few of them.
The Beatles at Madame Tussauds
You can even see the Beatles.... as they were in the 1960's !
    Another popular part of the exhibition is the "chamber of horrors", with its famous murderers and its instruments of torture!

    At Madame Tussaud's, it is only the very famous who get a place in the exhibition. That is not surprising really; it takes about six months to create a really lifelike wax model.
    The sculptors use lots of photos and measurements, in order to obtain a perfect likeness. For example, it took 450 hours to re-create Spice Girl Mel G's famous curly hair! In all, a wax figure costs over £40,000 to make - a lot of money!
    And, you ask, what happens to yesterday's famous people? Well, they are taken out of the collection, and their heads are stored for a while. Then, if it is clear that no one will ever want to see them again, they are melted down and re-used for another person!
    Many people achieve passing fame; few achieve lasting fame!

Word guide
tyrant: despot, very bad powerful man - wax: a soft paste, originally made by bees - statue: artificial person, sculpture - settled: established her fixed home - overall: general -  lifelike: realistic, true - sculptor: artist who cuts forms from a solid substance - likeness: imitation, copy - while: a period of time - melt: liquefy - achieve: obtain - fame : celebrity .

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Student Worksheet

Modal verbs:
Connect the phrases : correct the information

Here is some information about Madame Tussaud's: unfortunately the  sentences have been put together wrongly: each sentence contains two parts, (a) and (b). Join the parts in the most logical way!..

List A
In Madame Tussaud's, you must not
In Madame Tussaud's, you cannot
Most days in summer,  visitors must
Inside Madame Tussauds, you can
If you are easily frightened, you should not
If you don't like long queues, you should
If you want to visit Madame Tussaud's, you have to
If you have had enough, you do not have to
List B
see everything in the exhibition.
see a lot of famous people.
visit the exhibition in winter.
visit the Chamber of Horrors.
have a conversation with the wax figures.
buy a ticket.
touch the wax figures.
stand in a long queue.


Notes for teachers

Check that pupils are familiar with all these modals; make sure that they understand that must and have to are usually synonyms, but that must not and do not have to are NOT synonyms.
    Take this point further by having pupils make up 8 sentences, corresponding to the 8 modal forms used, referring to your school.

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This teaching resource is © copyright Linguapress renewed 2022.
Updated from an article originally published in Horizon, the Low-intermediate level English newsmagazine.
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From Linguapress......

Level: simple intermediate
Theme : London
Target readers : teenagers, adult learners
Language point: modal verbs

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Copyright notice.

This resource is © copyright Linguapress 
Updated from an article originally published  in Horizon magazine.
Photo credits:  Top left:
by MV Kulkarni; photo Beatles by L Havelund, licence creative commons.
Picture of Marie Tussaud - public domain.

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