Brian Friel’s “Translations” – Jennifer Green writes:

March’s social involved good food and a trip to the theatre. We met at Mama’s and Leonies in Sheffield for a pre-theatre meal. The restaurant had a homely feel and a varied menu. According to the website, it’s on the site of what was Sheffield’s most notorious Doctor’s Surgery. Unfortunately, we were unable to ascertain who this doctor was or why the surgery was notorious. Portions were generous and calzone proved a popular option. I certainly enjoyed mine and the standard was raised further by the homemade desserts.

After dinner we met those who were unable to attend the meal in the Crucible theatre foyer. The play was a Sheffield Theatres, English Touring Theatre and Rose Theatre Kingston Co-Production of Translations by Brian Friel. It was written in 1980 and set in 1833 in Baile Beag, County Donegal. The British Army have arrived to map the area and are in the process of translating Gaelic place names into the King’s English. There are few characters who can speak both English and Irish and the play revolves around this language barrier and the cultural differences that go with it. The actors speak English throughout but the play is cleverly constructed so that the audience always knows which language is being “spoken”. There’s a humorous example of blatant misinterpretation and a village girl, who does not speak English, falls in love with a soldier, who does not speak Irish.

Thank you to Charlotte for organising the social and to John for recommending the restaurant!