[Foreign Affairs] presents three brand new world theatre translations live on stage.
This evening of new translation extracts, to be performed at the Rose Lipman Building on 19 and 20 January 2018, is the culmination of [Foreign Affairs] Translates! a six month workshop programme to help develop theatre in translation.
Having worked exclusively with European texts in our inaugural programme last year, we are thrilled to be bringing work from farther afield and venturing into Chinese-Mandarin, Japanese and Finnish language translation.
This year we have another trio of female translators who will be working with a team of language and theatre translation experts alongside [Foreign Affairs] team of producers, directors and actors. The translators will bring the words of Gu Lei, Izumi Kyoka and Marie Kajava’s to an English speaking audience.
Recognizing that translation is so often a solitary process [Foreign Affairs] Translates! was designed to give theatre translators the opportunity to see their work performed whilst still in development, bringing them closer to live performance by immersing them in theatre practice and giving them the tools to facilitate a more symbiotic relationship between performance and text.
The public sharing will comprise performed extracts from Lani Calvert’s translation from Chinese-Mandarin of Gu Lei’s play 十个人的夜晚 The Night of Ten People; Nozomi Abe’s translation from Japanese of 泉鏡花 Izumi Kyoka play 天守物語 Tenshu-Tale and Liisa Muinonen-Martin’s translation from Finnish of Marie Kajava’s Famine. The sharing is directed by [Foreign Affairs]’ artistic director’s Trine Garrett and Camila França. The six month programme is produced by [Foreign Affairs].
A post-show talk will be held after each performance. The post show talks will cover the need for translated drama and its value as well as the place of world theatre in today’s globalized world and the translation process as experienced by the participants on this programme, chaired by an expert on translation.
About the plays
THE NIGHT OF TEN PEOPLE by Gu Lei (hailed as one of China’s most promising modern writers)
The play is set in a large Asian city, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo or Seoul. It is never specified which city it is portraying. The play tells the story of a magician who works in a nightclub. On his nightly walk home, he passes many different members of society; a vegetable seller, a beggar, a hopeless writer. Their stories become part of his dreams, and his dreams become entangled with reality. The play displays Chinese culture in a creative way and the dialogue provides a realistic representation of Chinese life. Gu Lei told critics that the characters in the play are based on people he has encountered in real life, and that they are each supposed to represent a stereotype present in society.
TENSHU- TALE by Izumi Kyoka
天守物語 (Tenshu Monogatari) is a Japanese play published in 1917 by 泉鏡花 Izumi Kyoka (1873-1939), a playwright who has been described as the ‘Japanese Edgar Allan Poe’ or the ‘father of Gothic tales’. It is set on the top floor of Himeji castle where there is believed to be an entrance to ‘the other world’. Tomi-Hime, the monster princess who reigns this strange world, falls in love with a human falconer, however, what they have in front of them is nothing but obstacles.
FAMINE by Marie Kajava
Nälänhätä (Famine) explores hunger as a form of suffering prevalent in both developing and developed nations. Nälänhätä was staged by Helsinki’s Teatteri Takomo and is due to be translated into Swedish and adapted into a radio play for the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle. In its review, Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat wrote: “The questions the play raises may not be new, but playwright Marie Kajava’s multi-faceted and strictly ascetic approach makes it into a powerful viewing experience,”. A critic for Hufvudstadsbladet, the Swedish-language daily, noted: “Marie Kajava’s masterful play exposes the West’s inability to tackle crises that don’t affect it directly”.
Cast + Creative Team
Raphael Von Blumenthal
Camila França & Trine Garrett