The Linguist

The Linguist 56,3 – June/July 2017

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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Page 6 of 35 JUNE/JULY 2017 The Linguist 7 FEATURES H ow does the translation of a play influence its performance and its staging? How do textual and linguistic strategies adopted by a translator reverberate through a play's production? Arne Pohlmeier's staging of Piotr Lachmann's Gliwice Hamlet attempts to answer these questions through practice. The performance was made in collaboration with Dr Margherita Laera, of the University of Kent, in the context of her research project 'Translation Adaptation Otherness' ( This project seeks to increase the attention given to translation in the British theatre scene by interrogating what is translated and how, but also by asking how translation can influence the work of making theatre. The research takes its cue from the concept of 'foreignisation' in literary translation – the idea of allowing a translated text to produce an effect that is outside dominant practices within the receiving culture. The project thus employs a number of strategies – from the discursive to the performative – that seek to minimise the translated text's integration within the target language's standard dialect, and instead to communicate its linguistic and cultural difference. Moving from this conceptual ground, Laera's work intertwines the rich debate on language and identity in translation with the equally complex debates on such matters in theatre studies, investigating how 'otherness' tends to be attended to and represented on stage. The project commissioned a translation of Piotr Lachmann's Gliwice Hamlet, which "It's about the space between the words – delivery, voice, gesture – the colour words take on when spoken" Flora Pitrolo talks to the creative team behind Gliwice Hamlet, a production that asks how a play's translation can influence its staging – and how 'foreign' it should go Staging otherness interweaves elements of Shakespeare's famous work with the Greek tragedies and plays by the 20th-century Polish playwrights Stanislaw Rozewicz and Helmut Kajzar, to tell the story of Lachmann's childhood in Poland during World War II. This production of the translation by Dr Bryce Lease (Royal Holloway) and Dr Aneta Mancewicz (Kingston University) was presented at the V&A's Festival of Performance in April. I spoke to the creative team – actors Kudzi Hudson and Tonderai Munyevu, Director Arne Pohlmeier and Movement Director Yukiko Masui – to find out more. Given the intercultural make-up of German, Japanese and British/Zimbabwean professionals, and the text's inherent multilingualism, my first questions concerned how the text and the team spoke to each other. DRAMATIC: Tonderai and Kudzi take centre stage during the presentation of Gliwice Hamlet at the V&A's Festival of Performance © JAMIE SMITH

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