'A Romanian Perspective on Brian Friel's Translations'

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Based on the premise that the history of the representation in drama of the Ulster "Troubles" has been characterised by a move from direct to metaphorical engagement, this paper seeks to explore the signficance of Brian Friel's Translations as a "Troubles Drama" with reference to a production of the play I directed for the Hungarian Theater of Cluj in the Fall of 2001. Interpreting a play about language in a language other than the one in which it was originally written proved to have many implications for the rehearsal process and led me to experiment with the image theatre techniques of Augusto Boal. The nature of Cluj/Kolozsvar as a bi-lingual city added to the complexities of the process, as did my own status as an English-speaking director in a Hungarian-speaking environment. The extraordinary neautre of the wider geopolitical context at the time of the production proved to be the final ingredient in what became an exceptional empirical process of discovery. The discussion of the particular production is placed in the wider context of an exposition of a theory of "cultural gravity" as an alternative to "liminality" in helping to assess the cultural signficance of geopolitical boundaries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-159
Number of pages11
JournalText and Presentation
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003


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