Lost in Translation: A Bilingual Journey

20/08/17

French Institute, Edinburgh

Lost In Translation is a charming one-woman show performed by Marion Geoffray that sets out to try and reveal what goes through the mind of a bilingual person when they find themselves living in a foreign country. Marion tells us her story of growing up in France and how she falls in love with Prince William and the works of Charlotte Brontë – how she later travels to London to go to RADA and how she eventually winds up living in Scotland. Geoffray is an appealing performer and anyone concerned about the ‘bilingual’ elements of the show needn’t worry too much. Even my rudimentary schoolboy French is enough for me to follow what’s happening in the earlier segments and the largest part of the monologue is delivered in English. (Theres a bit of Gaelic thrown in for good measure but it doesn’t hurt a bit.)

It’s very much a game of two halves though – while I thoroughly enjoy the first, where Marion’s story unfolds, I am rather less enamoured of the second, where she engages in interplay with the audience, conducting little quizzes and asking them to contribute opinions – not that there’s anything wrong wth that, but I prefer the narrative drive of the story. It’s no surprise to learn that this production has toured Scottish schools, where I have no doubt it really comes into its own. I myself wind up onstage with Marion, as her guest for a rather awkward tea party.

This is a lively and entertaining way to spend an hour. Go and enjoy it… and learn a little in the process.

3.8 stars

Philip Caveney

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