Fringe review: Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation is a raucous, strangely artistic show featuring scripts from well-known early 2000s films that have been run through an online translator ­– not just once, but at least a dozen times. ★★★ ½

Mar 03, 2021, updated Mar 04, 2021

The Lost in Translation team is Aaron Finan, Sophie Addison, Emma Siddons and Lochryn Hearne – four millennial friends and fans of early noughties films. The idea for their show came when they asked the question: “What happens when you take your favourite film script and run it through several languages using an online translator? Will it remain the same, become utter gibberish or something else entirely fantastical.”

You get to discover the answer for yourself at Lost in Translation, where the unadulterated translated scripts are read aloud over an hour-long performance and trying to decipher the meaning of the films becomes an almost interpretive game for the confused and cackling audience.

Films being translated and re-translated this Fringe season are The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Monsters Inc, Chicken Run, and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Translations are often far removed from the actual lines of the original script, so it’s advantageous to have prior knowledge of the film. The performers teeter on occasions, sometimes crossing the line into entirely nonsensical, and that is what creates a great deal of the show’s fun.

The often-incomprehensible garbled lines the translations have spat out become less ludicrous and more hilarious once you have settled into the rhythm, and the venue’s intimate nature serves the artists well in creating an atmosphere of revelry.

The palpable chemistry between Lost in Translation’s crew is paramount to its success. They are clearly friends, and an invitation into their world comes with open arms.

Lost in Translation is an enjoyable, often hilarious, night out and a fresh way to experience some of your favourite films in a new light – that light being broken English and a howling crowd.

Lost in Translation is being presented by Braw Media in Drama Llama at the Rhino Room until March 6.

Read more Adelaide Fringe reviews and previews  here.

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