Barcelona - August 1st, 2013: 8:30 pm

Today is the reading of the first draft of the Catalan translation of 1984! So far things have been going very well, and Lluís-Anton has been incredibly helpful, suggesting things I wish I'd thought about before (and which may end up in the second edition of the published English-language version.) Two of the biggest questions have been: Stage directions- are there enough? Some things have been a bit confusing for him, and will be perhaps unclear to the cast. And: How to translate the name "Big Brother." Transliterating it to "Gran Germa" doesn't make sense in Catalan, and "Germa Gran" means "elder brother," which isn't quite the same. We had an hour-long meeting on that, plus another meeting the next day with the Orwell scholar. Also the television show "Big Brother" is very popular here. WE did think about leaving it in English, but I worry that that removes it from being a local show, which is my goal wherever the show is done. Well, we''l see what the director and actors have to say. Also the talk is to move the production from next Spring to this December, and to talk to the producers of a major international festival that happens in Catalonia next Fall. An unrelated theatre thing. After working yesterday I went to see a local free Shakespeare in the park production of "Twelfth Night," and I have to say after being in a couple of productions and seeing many more this was the first one where Sebastian and Antonio's relationship made sense. I'm sure other people have done it like this, but what they did was make it clear without kissing and hugging that they had a fun, casual, sexual relationship. Then, when Sebastian sleeps with Olivia it wasn't like she was the first woman he'd slept with, either. Sebastian was just a nice, fun guy who slept with men and women. It wasn't about him being overtly bisexual, he was just into whoever. And in the last seen, when all three were onstage he was making eyes at both of them, as if playfully inviting them to a threesome. Olivia wasn't clear what, exactly was going on, but Sebastian's calm, fun flirting made it seem like this was going to work out. The other thing I really liked was Malvolio's dungeon scene. This was one of the few times I've seen it were it was actually funny, not that strange Shakespeare funny where you know you're supposed to laugh because it'd a comic scene rather than it being funny. Very simply done, hard to explain, with a chair and the entire cast.


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Earlier this week I got a Google alert about “1984.” The show has a couple of productions going on and coming up, and is touring, so I figured it was a press release for one of those. So I didn’t open