Origins, Translations and Adaptation: from page to stage

Hosted by the Language Centre and LSE Literary Festival

Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building,


David Harsent

David Harsent

Jeremy Sams

Jeremy Sams


Dr Angus Wrenn

Is a translation or adaptation bound always to be measured against the work on which it was founded, or can it take on an independent life of its own? In discussion David Harsent and Jeremy Sams reflect on the differing demands and opportunities presented by translation and adaptation.

David Harsent (@DavidHarsent1) has published eleven collections of poetry, the most recent of which is Fire Songs. He is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Roehampton and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His work in music theatre has involved collaborations with a number of composers, but most often with Harrison Birtwistle, and has been performed at the Royal Opera House, Carnegie Hall, the Proms and on Channel 4. He was the librettist of two of the most significant British operas of recent years, Gawain and The Minotaur, and has in addition produced a significant body of English versions of the Greek poet Yannis Ritsos.

Jeremy Sams is a theatre director, lyricist and translator of opera libretti as well as a composer, orchestrator and musical director. He is a translator of both straight theatre (Moliere, Botho Strauss) and libretti for numerous operas (most recently the ENO’s Marriage of Figaro), as well as, in his capacity as musician and composer, putting together the unique project The Enchanted Isle (Metropolitan Opera New York).

Angus Wrenn is Co-ordinating Language Teacher (EAP) in the LSE Language Centre with special responsibilities for Literature Degree Options.

The Language Centre (@lselangcentre) at LSE reflects the specialist nature of the School itself, namely, a world class institution where the quality of teaching and research is paramount. LSE is not just a multi-national university but also a multi-lingual one.

This event forms part of the LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2015, taking place from Monday 23 - Saturday 28 February 2015, with the theme 'Foundations'.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSElitfest


A podcast of this event is available to download from Origins, Translations and Adaptation: from page to stage

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.