Skip to content

Projecting translations – an in-house impression

by Marloes van Luijk on June 15th, 2010

Saturday night, half past seven. In 30 minutes the opening of the 41st Poetry International Festival will be a fact. Seen from the projection room, the hall is still empty. But I know that will not last much longer. Just one final check – are the slides still in the same order and format? Did we make all the necessary alterations? The stage director next to me is getting nervous too, I can smell it. Only thirty more minutes to go…

Saturday night, a quarter past eight. The director’s speech kicked off the festival and the fourth poet is already reading. In Polish. Luckily, she doesn’t talk too fast and we can easily keep up with her original poems and our translations on the screen. The poets read quite quickly after each other however, so there is hardly time to breathe in our small upstairs room.

Saturday night, ten to nine. The show continues like a fast train but some poets really do cross the speed limits. Perhaps the Japanese lady had to catch her plane home that same night. We tried to keep up with her but she took her own route. The audience doesn’t seem to mind, though – the speedy sound of the incomprehensible far-eastern language makes them laugh.

Saturday night, twenty past nine. A poet with a guitar, poetic actors and a breakdancer have been on stage already. We take these opportunities to stretch our arms and sip some water. And to prepare for the next three poets who will read in Farsi, Arabic and Portuguese. We do have a translator who helps us with the two non-Western languages, but the tension rises again when the trio step onto the stage.

Saturday night, ten o’ clock. The opening show has finished and the audience are celebrating and drinking in the foyer. I shut down the laptop and we both take a deep breath. I feel like I just ran a marathon, with the only difference that after that water tastes best. Now I’ll definitely go for a beer. Six more nights like this to go, but the kick-off went well!

The Production team is made up of Liesbeth Huijer, Loesje Derkx, Rosa van Ederen and Marloes van Luijk.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.