Case study

Creating Global Communities: Dual Translation Theatre

22 Mar 2017

Jonathan Banatvala is Course Director for the Theatre Practice: Creative Producing (BA Hons) and Creative Media Industries: Cultural Management (MA) courses at London South Bank University. He is also the Artistic Director of Moving Theatre one of  the UK's foremost independent producers of international collaborative work and was described by the European Cultural Foundation as the "UK's leading exponent of bilingual theatre".

Moving Theatre has previously led an EU funded partnership of radio and theatre which commissioned and produced six new radio dramas inspired by operatic heroines. Each play was written in English and another language in such a way that a listener who understands only one can still enjoy and understand the play. Between them the plays won two prix Maurulic, a New York Radio Festival award and were nominated for awards from PPI and the Prix Europa.

More recently the Moving Theatre used funding from the European Cultural Foundation and the Waldorp fund to collaborate with the LadoMeshkishvili Theatre in Kutaisi, Georgia and the Maneken Theatre in Chelyabisnk, Russia to stage a new production of Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida - offering a new insight into Shakespeare’s reworking of one of the stories of the Greek-Trojan war. Trolius and Cressida explores the nature of conflict between nations and individuals bound by kinship and location but driven apart by an issue whose origin is now almost forgotten.

The play was staged in both Russia and Georgia and interweaved into Shakespeare’s drama were new scenes created from original interviews with people caught up in the 2008 conflict in South Ossetia and Georgia, to provide a contemporary reflection of Shakespeare’s debate about what is essential in human life.