Today, I'd like to write about what happens when your script gets apprehended by a completely new culture.
First of all, here is a pitcure of White with the script that she translated. That was my first shock today, seeing my ideas in a completely incomprehensible characters. It is like the English words are submerged beneath the tide of a completely new culture. Your ideas are still there, but they are wearing different clothes. White reckons that she only changed around 3% of the script. This is the closest the scripts will remain. After the next draft we have made a decision, that we will let the scripts drift apart.
The entire Korean cast were sat round a table by 10.30am. Each of us introduced ourselves and after each intro, a round of applause. We have two interpreters working with us. White and Joseph. They are great. But It is just classic, when they are translating back to you. And you know the Koreans have said something long and important. and it gets truncated by the interpreters into about three words. I think if we paid them more, we might get a bit more.
From a comedy and dramaturgical point of view, I wanted to know what transfered and what didn't. But as the reading began more basic questions surface. What are they thinking about this? Is this just nonsense? Do they understand anything? For the first 15 minutes it felt cold, but then it warmed up. A sense of recognition took over. Seoul dominates South Korea like London Dominates the UK. S.Korea has politicians just like Boris Johnson, and so they channel their own politicians at that moment, and we see the similarity.
When I first began putting the characters together, I was convinced that I needed to base them on Comedia D'ell Arte architypes. Characters who were recogniseable to any city. So Schatzie is the biggest idiot Gianni, followed by Leo is Arlechino etc. etc. For me London itself has always been 'The Magnifico'. A character so powerful it can never die. It it does it gets replaced immeditately.
One of the big issues is of Koreans playing all the European nationalities. Having based the characters on Commedia then it could easily be Mongolians, and Chinese, and Phillipinos or maybe even Japanese. All of these nationalities live in London and so Ji Eun could move in with them and the whole London part of the scipt remain.