Venue: Princes Mall
20 August 2011 WOS Rating: An empty lot in Princes Street Mall seems an unlikely location for an MA lecture in translation studies. But the overhead projector doesn't lie and nor does supply lecturer Ottavia, arriving late and launching us straight into her colleague's prepared lesson on legal translation.
Advice such as "focus on fidelity and you'll be fine" soon gives way to today's case-study of a Scottish millionaire facing charges of
omicidio colposio (manslaughter) over thousands of people killed at his Italian asbestos factory. And as Ottavia's involvement in the case emerges, her calm tutorial manner begins to crack in front of one unlucky student.
Jessica Phillipi based this play on real events, and you cannot fault either her passion for the subject or her believability in the role of a translator torn between the personal and professional. In fact, so dull is Ottavia's legal lecture to begin with that Phillipi risks losing her audience in the first ten minutes, only for things to get rather histrionic later on.
But if the full impact of the story is sometimes lost in translation, this is still a compelling story told in an original way and more evidence of theatrical potential on the Free Fringe.
- Nancy Groves
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