S:PAM Lecture #20 - Dr. Margherita Laera - Performing Heteroglossia: the Translating Theatre Project in London

17-04-2018 from 14:30 to 16:00
Hoveniersberg, leszaal Jos Van Acker (Take the small street next to Sint Pietersnieuwstraat 105, 9000 Ghent)
S:PAM (Studies in Performing Arts & Media)
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S:PAM Lecture #20: Dr. Margherita Laera - Performing Heteroglossia: the Translating Theatre Project in London

Chair: Prof. Dr. Katharina Pewny (Ghent University) 


London is home to more than eight million people who speak more than three hundred languages, but the theatre scene in the British capital far from adequately represents this cultural richness and diversity. London theatre remains predominantly white, British, middle-class, and performed in the standard London dialect and accent combination. In this paper, I describe the outcomes of my research project “Translation, Adaptation, Otherness: ‘Foreignisation’ in Theatre Practice”. The aim of the project was to investigate new strategies in theatre translation that would enable us to disrupt audience expectation and challenge the predominant ethnocentrism in London theatres. Here, I assess the difficulties we encountered and the audience’s response to our experiments. The project, for which we translated and staged in English three European plays from French, Spanish and Polish, offered many timely opportunities to interrogate perceptions of “foreignness” and “alterity” among London-based theatre-makers, scholars, and spectators, immediately following the “Brexit” referendum vote. 



Margherita Laera is a lecturer in Drama and Theatre at the University of Kent, Canterbury. She specialises in contemporary European theatre, translation and transnational performance, and is also a professional arts journalist and theatre translator. Her publications include Reaching Athens: Community, Democracy and Other Mythologies in Adaptations of Greek Tragedy (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013).