At the beginning of his presentation, a speaker made a joke through an interpreter and after a few seconds the whole room burst into laughter. He was pleased that finally an audience had appreciated his joke. At the end of the meeting he said to the interpreter, “You know, I’ve made this joke several times in lots of different countries, but usually no one laughs. You must be a very good interpreter. I wonder how you managed to translate it?” The interpreter replied, “I simply said: he has made a joke, please laugh.”
The confrontation of language underlies so many of the problems which we can pose concerning human beings. Performed in English, French, Auslan and Bunwurrung, this is a work about the act of interpreting, about changing words into meaning and back again. Set against the backdrop of a French Mansion, the home of Alliance Française in St Kilda, Nicola and special guests will untangle and retangle language to understand the part it plays in our culture and our education system.