showcase image © Luca Migliore, featuring Irene Panni
The Foreign Affairs Translator Mentorship is set up in collaboration with translator Paul Russell Garrett, Roland Glasser and William Gregory.
The inaugural edition of the mentoring programme kicks off (on the eve of the Brexit vote!) with translators working from Croatian, Hungarian and Swedish.
In September we take our first step into the world of translation, when we’re invited to give an introduction to the mentorship at International Translation Day at the British Library.
In December, we produce our first ever Theatre Translation Showcase at Above the Arts in London’s West End.
workshop images © Luca Migliore
The second edition of the mentoring programme is launched with translators working from Japanese, Finish and Mandarin Chinese.
We continue our venture into the world of translation by presenting our mentoring programme at the Out of the Wings Festival. Later that year, we’re invited to the closing plenary at the International Translation Day festivities at the British Library, talking all things theatre in translation.
November sees the first ‘mentorship play’ produced by the company: The Unburied. The Saint of Darkness (Temetetlenek. A sötétség szentje) by András Visky, translated by Jozefina Komporaly, supported by Arts Council England and the Romanian Cultural Institute.
showcase image © Luca Migliore, featuring Sachi Lovatt
In January we produce the second showcase at the Rose Lipman Building – our home in east London, merging the company’s site-found performance practice with our translation work.
We launch the third edition of the mentorship with translators working from German, French and Spanish (Colombia).
In October, Co-Artistic Director Trine Garrett travels to the US to present the mentoring programme at the American Literary Translators Association’s annual conference – ALTA41: Performance, Props and Platforms.
rehearsal image © Luca Migliore, featuring cast & creative team (howling like wolves)
Alongside past participants Jozefina Komporaly and Valentina Marconi, we take part in the Brexit Stage Left Conference at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, sharing the journey of the programme and key milestones.
Once again, the Rose Lipman Building serves as the backdrop for the third edition of our Theatre Theatre Translation Showcase.
After running the mentorship three years in a row, we make the decision to run the programme biannually. Other training opportunities for translators will continue to run regularly.
In July, supported by Language Acts and Worldmaking, we present a rehearsed reading of another ‘mentorship play’, Unterstadt – A story of an Osijek Family (Unterstadt – roman jedne osječke obitelji), based on a novel by Ivana Šojat, translated by Valentina Marconi.
to zoom or not to zoom …
Shortly before the UK goes into its first national lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the fourth edition of the programme is announced.
Foreign Affairs announces that the mentoring programme will go ahead in a digital format, allowing for participants outside the UK to take part.
The fourth edition of the programme kicks off with translators working from Dutch (Flanders), Levantine Arabic (Syria), Latvian, Portuguese (Brazil), German and Spanish.
The Foreign Affairs Theatre Translator Lab (FATT Lab) has lift-off. A stand-alone sequel to the mentoring programme.
The Foreign Affairs Theatre Translation Showcase is presented in the land of Zoom.
The FATT Lab continues to go from strength to strength, evolving into a creative community of practice with a shared vision of bringing outstanding world theatre to English speaking audiences.
After nearly two years on hold, we present the UK (and world) premiere of Where I Call Home (Gens du pays) by Marc-Antoine Cyr, translated by Charis Ainslie at our home, the Rose Lipman Building, in east London.
production image © Tim Morozzo, featuring Sammy Attalah
We announce the fifth edition of the mentorship, which this year will take place in a hybrid format, incorporating all the lessons learned during our time spent working online.
To be continued …
by Christina Kettering
translated by Pauline Wick
Two sisters, their mother, and a robot. What is the essence of humanity when artificial intelligence acts more human than us? Witty and imaginative, Black Swans explores our responsibilities in the age of individualism.
Original title: Schwarze Schwäne
hide & seek
by Shadi Kiwan
translated by Deema Al-Mohammad
In Damascus, overlooking Mount Qasioun from a dilapidated studio apartment, five friends play hide and seek with each other as they navigate love, friendship, and the violence of the Syrian civil war that tore them apart.
Original title: Tammemeh
Language: Levantine Arabic
by Justīne Kļava
translated by Ieva Lākute
Three generations of women try to assert their independence from each other, while sharing a flat in a decrepit district of the post-Soviet city of Riga.
Filled with tragicomic moments, Ladies is a story about love, independence … and meatballs.
Original title: Dāmas
by Alejandro Butrón Ibáñez
translated by Katherine Walker
What happens when we truly let someone in, when we tell our loved ones our deepest and darkest secrets?
Thirst explores one couple navigating the stigma of a confession. This play addresses one of society’s biggest taboos and forces the audience to consider their response.
Original title: Sed
speak quietly, or i’ll scream
by Leilah Assumpção
translated by Isobel Foxford
When a stranger breaks into her home, a woman undertakes a winding imaginary journey through the city at night, fantasising about a life beyond society’s expectations.
A classic of Brazilian theatre, Speak Quietly, Or I’ll Scream has been staged extensively over the years. Shortly after its première, it received the Molière Award.
Original title: Fala Baixo, Senão eu Grito
Language: Portuguese (Brazil)
by Freek Mariën
translated by David McKay
A Nordic noir on the surface, The Wetsuitman takes you through a succession of characters and insights to its emotional core: the intimate story of a family and their loss.
Winner of the international Kaas & Kappes prize 2020 for the best youth theatre from Dutch and German-speaking countries.
Original title: The Wetsuitman
Language: Dutch (Flanders)
where i call home
by Marc-Antoine Cyr
translated by Charis Ainslie
Where I Call Home is a play about racism, identity and what it is to be French (or British, with a few changes). School teacher Kevin has never had such a “colourful” class, so he’s come up with the idea of “The Big Project” – getting to know each other. His partner, a police officer, is holding a suspect – a minor, who claims he hasn’t done anything. He just wants to go home to his mum, to a place where his identity is not in question. But he’s growing fur, his teeth are becoming pointed … and the wolves are calling him …
Original title: Gens du pays
by Franz Xaver Kroetz
translated by Iwona Luszowicz
This play concerns mini-tragedies: a man unable to ask his boss for his favourite pen back; a woman standing at the supermarket checkout without enough money; a son telling his father he’d rather be dead than turn out like him. Through the small events of everyday life, Xaver Kroetz creates an exploration of human purpose, and the balance between living for others and living for ourselves.
Original title: Mensch Meier
by Martha Márquez
translated by Santiago Godoy Giraldo
The play explores the theme of migration; it’s a collection of stories of people from all around the world who are war victims, asylum seekers or have left their homelands in search of a better life. The play takes place is a series of containers at the port of a fictional city in which, on arrival, an unspecified newcomer becomes the witness of each one of these stories. Based on real events, Asian Souvenir offers a closer look at the particular situation of the human beings involved in this global and immensely relevant subject.
Original title: Souvenir Asiático
the night of ten people
by Gu Le
translated by Lani Calvert
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.
Original title: 十个人的夜晚
Language: Mandarin Chinese
by Izumi Kyoka
translated by Nozomi Abe
Tenshu Tale 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.
Original title: 天守物語
by Marie Kajava
translated by Liisa Muinonen-Martin
Famine explores hunger as a form of suffering prevalent in both developing and developed nations. Famine 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’.
Original title: Nälänhätä
the unburied. the saint of darkness
by András Visky
translated by Jozefina Komporaly
Mother Theresa is the central figure of Visky’s The Unburied. The Saint of Darkness, an allegory of her life that draws parallels between her sense of vocation and Antigone’s sense of duty to bury her brother. The play connects the two figures through their need to bury the dead, but also to care for the genuinely needy ‘sea of unburied bodies’.
Original title: Temetetlenek. A sötétség szentje
by August Strindberg
translated by Siân Mackie
Strindberg’s To Damascus documents the Stranger’s circular journey to the brink of despair and back, as he moves from disillusionment, loneliness and nihilism to a position where he attempts to look towards the light and accept the kindness of those around him.
Original title: Till Damaskus
unterstadt – the story of an osijek family
based on a novel by Ivana Šojat, adapted for the stage by Zlatko Sviben
translated by Valentina Marconi
Guided by an old family friend following the death of her estranged mother, Ivana Šojat’s Unterstadt sees Katarina embark on a journey through her family’s history. Family ghosts from her recent and remote past reveal their destinies shedding light on her own origin as a member of the German national minority in Croatia. This story of four generations of women living through the 20th century addresses civil rights, cultural identity and collective guilt.
Original title: Unterstadt – roman jedne osječke obitelji