domingo, 27 de noviembre de 2011

Adaptations, Versions and Perversions: French Theatre and English Playwrights (19th-21st Century)

Facultad de Filología,
Traducción y Comunicación
Universidad de Valencia
(1-2 December 2011)

The conference aims to explore the presence of French plays and players in England, and their influence upon native dramatists, critics and actors. By means of scrutinising English adaptations of French plays and their critics’ and audiences’ reception, it intends to illustrate the economic, aesthetic and political tensions emerging and crystallising between England and France since the nineteenth century.

The overwhelming number of Victorian adaptations from the French stand as an organic body of plays mirroring not only the peculiar economic climate favoured by the liberalisation of the theatres, but also an unprecedented understanding of theatrical free trade that challenged the determinism with which Victorian dramatic genres crafted an English national identity. The French play, condemned for its connotations of immorality and degeneracy and its poor, conservative aesthetic conventions veiled an imperialistic conceptualisation of the theatre as a distinguished cultural icon of the nation.

The object of the conference is threefold: first, to chronologically examine the different ways adaptations from the French were carried out in England and to set them within their historic, economic, and sociologic contexts in order to discern the textual strategies used by adaptors either to comply or to divert from the original texts and institutional censorship. Secondly, to investigate the historical evolution of the critics’ antagonistic francomania or gallophobia as instances of moral and national protectionism, so as to expose the inherent symbolism of the French play as a battlefield pushing towards aesthetic modernity and economic liberalism. Thirdly, to analyse the influence of French plays and players in the so-called ‘revival of English drama’ with the object of illustrating the crucial role that theatrical transnationality had in the negotiation of cultural and national identities.


Thursday, December 1st

10.30 h. Prof. Kate Newey
University of Birmingham
“Not as Good as the Book? Victorian Theatre and Adaptation”

12.00 h. Dr. Sos Eltis
Brasenose College, Oxford University
“English Decency and French Immorality: The Public, the Censor and the Victorian Stage”

16.30 h. Dr. Mireia Aragay
Universitat de Barcelona
“Crossing Borders: From the State of the Nation to Globalisation in Contemporary British Theatre”

18.00 h. Prof. Lydia Vázquez
Universidad de País Vasco
“Laclos, Hampton: Esprit francés, wit inglés”

Friday, December 2nd

10.00 h. Dr. Caroline Bertonèche
Université de Grenoble
“The (Amphi)theatre of Arts and Sciences: Staging Medical Discovery and Performance from France to England”

11.30 h. Dr. Marianne Drugeon
Université de Montpellier
“Beckett’s Theatre: Translating and Adapting One’s Own Work”

16.00 h. Dr. Juli Leal
Universitat de València
“Occupe-toi de Feydeau !”

17.30 h. Alexander Herold
Stage Director
“French Farce or Sex Comedy: A Practical Guide to the Limitations of Franglais”


The conference will be held at the Facultad de Filología, Traducción y Comunicación (Avenida Blasco Ibáñez 32, Valencia)

Organizing Committee

Ignacio Ramos Gay, Miguel Teruel, Juan-Vicente Martinez-Luciano, Claude Benoit

The conference is sponsored by the Research Project “El teatro francés en Gran-Bretaña: Adaptación, transnacionalidad y autoría teatral" (UV-INV-AE11-42467)


Attendance is free. Participants will receive a certificate of attendance at the end of the conference. For registration, please send an email to prior to Tuesday 29th of November