Not Lost In Translation: Foreign Affairs offers three new online discussions

East-London based theatre group Foreign Affairs describe themselves as “bringing stories from around the globe into unconventional spaces”. Rooted in a collaborative approach, they work with international playwrights and translators to bring award-winning world drama to English-speaking audiences with an eye to exploring topical social and political issues.

To celebrate their 11th anniversary, they have kindly shared three interesting discussions via their YouTube channel. The discussions all concern translations of works, language, perceptions of value and cultural and social issues, as well as the realities of collaborating with playwrights and across cultures.

Discussion One – Are distinctions such as ‘native’ and ‘non-native’ becoming irrelevant in a globalised society?

In this talk, English – Polish literary translator Marta Dziurosz talks to translators Anton Hur, Lúcia Collischonn and Valentina Marconi about “non-native” and collaborative translation, the bias towards/surrounding bilingual translators and the notions of ‘language ownership’ and ‘collaboration vs chaperoning’.

Discussion Two – In this talk, writer, editor and translator Daniel Hahn talks to playwright Marc-Antoine Cyr and his English translator Charis Ainslie, and playwright and translator Caridad Svich about working between cultures and the playwright-translator work relationship.

Discussion Three – In this talk, academic and translator Margherita Laera talks to translators Almiro Andrade and Jeremy Tiang and award-winning playwright Hannah Khalil about the role of translated theatre within an anglophone context, and the underrepresentation and marginalisation of migrant voices and communities on stage.

These conversations last around 75 minutes each and are certainly interesting for their experienced speakers and ideas which are examined.

Please note: These discussions are available online until Monday September 20th.


YouTube’s Theatre Treasures: Laurence Olivier interviewed by Kenneth Tynan

Here’s another treasure from my occasional rummaging around the dusty corners of the cyber-storeroom that is YouTube. Today’s nugget is an interview from 1966 – Kenneth Tynan interviewing Laurence Olivier.

The recording lasts just over 45 minutes. Do stay with it through the rather pompous opening fanfares, and you’ll find a really interesting and candid discussion with one of our greatest actors about his career, chances, upbringing, and successes.

Kenneth Tynan, who interviews Olivier, was the Literary Manager of the National Theatre at the time of this recording. Tynan, a writer and critic who liked to make waves from his first appointment – at the Evening Standard – in 1952. His collected reviews are often interesting and incisive pieces. A fan of the New Wave, John Osborne et al, Tynan’s barbed retorts against cosy theatrical fare are crackling pieces of disdain in his reviews of this material, and, frankly, are something of a delight to read in themselves. (A particular favourite of mine is his demolition of Anna Neagle in one of the plodding historical productions she starred in, “Sixty Glorious Years” who, when she sang, Tynan described as “Shaking her voice at the audience like a tiny fist”….)

Tynan was made Literary Manager of the new National Theatre Company in 1963, at which time they were still operating out of the Old Vic Theatre. It is fitting that this interview starts on stage at the Old Vic, with a view of the auditorium, with an informal Olivier, with the interview transitioning to the studio later on.

I hope you enjoy it!

With Thanks to YouTube poster Roman Stryan


Enjoy an online walking tour of the changing face of Leeds cinemas

Paramount Theatre, Leeds

The good people at Leeds Civic Trust are responsible for organising a number of projects and events that help audiences from Leeds and surroundings to see the built heritage which surrounds them with fresh eyes and a healthy dose of appreciation.

For the cinema enthusiasts amongst u,s they have created a virtual cinema tour, looking at the changing face of cinema buildings in Leeds and taking in eleven cinema buildings which at times had theatrical presentations also. Garance Rawinsky leads the tour, which is now available online via YouTube.

You can watch the tour here


Watch Now: Enjoy a new play reading from the Finborough Theatre

Available on the Finborough Theatre YouTube channel from today- Monday, 24 May – at 6.00pm to Sunday, 20 June 2021 at midnight, as part of #FinboroughForFree, is a rehearsed reading of Jacob Rice Marx’s A BRIEF LIST OF EVERYONE WHO DIED

After the scarring loss of her beloved dog Buster at the age of five, Graciela decides that no one she loves will ever die. But stopping death is easier said than done…

Wickedly funny and deeply humane, A BRIEF LIST OF EVERYONE WHO DIED tells the story of all the deaths that make up a life.

This online world premiere rehearsed reading reunites American playwright Jacob Marx Rice and British director Alex Howarth, the team behind the Finborough Theatre’s acclaimed 2019 production Chemistry, and features American actors Vivia Font and Paco Lozano, and Gemma Barnett, winner of Best Female Performance in a Play at 2020 Off West End Awards.

Simultaneously available with subtitles on Scenesaver.

Watch A BRIEF LIST OF EVERYONE WHO DIES (from 6pm BST today) here