Meet Dominic. A man of character, Dominic has a lot of personality but it is not in his nature to be ungrateful or plain rude. A single man in his late 40s, he enjoys his little quirks, shrinks from socializing and is no longer looking for the other half. Depending on a single source of (well above-average!) income, he can afford to spend his money as he likes, often living beyond his means. At first glance, you can easily spot evidence of his sophisticated taste in high fashion – always the best cut and the richest, finest fabrics. His London residence boasts lavish but tasteful interior design with fine art pieces that cost a fortune, every single one of them. As a great fan of fine dining, he will eat out in the most elegant restaurants on a daily basis, unable to stomach convenience foods and ready meals. What singles him out from the crowd of his British friends with deep pockets is his aversion to … tea and technology.

Now, imagine his reaction when he gets these gifts from his mates at the office Christmas party:

  • a paperback recipe book Microwave Recipes for One
  • a pair of cheap grey socks
  • a second-hand non-fiction book on how to use obsolete computer software, with an obsolete floppy disc attached
  • a white church candle
  • an ugly-looking brightly coloured teapot with a matching cup
  • a flashy bright vintage Hawaiian shirt, made of cheap nylon fabric

Consider two scenarios:

  1. Dominic is cranky after 6 hours of difficult negotiations and decides to speak his mind in a blunt way.
  2. Full of Christmas spirit and compassion, Dominic decides to fake appreciation.


The story was inspired by the Acting Masterclass with Benedict Cumberbatch, featured by the Hook Magazine:

You will find the entire lesson plan in our FREE collection of activities & lesson ideas, Inspiration Giveaway fro EFL Teachers – click on the button below:


  • B1


  • a man of character
  • have a lot of personality
  • be not in your nature to do sth
  • lavish, tasteful interior design
  • every single one of (them)
  • single you out from …
  • depend on a single source of  income
  • live beyond your means
  • cost a fortune
  • with deep pockets
  • shrink from doing sth
  • be unable to stomach sth
  • (feel) aversion to sth/sbd
  • little quirks
  • (look for/find) the other half
  • at first glance
  • boast sth

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