Cross-Channel Theatre is an initiative led by the Institut français du Royaume-Uni, aiming at promoting French new playwrights in the UK.
Created and run by the Institut français du Royaume-Uni in 2014, Cross-Channel Theatre, in partnership with Artcena/CONTXTO, aims to collect texts from contemporary French playwrights for translation into English, and then to present them in the form of staged readings.
The goal is to promote French playwrights in the UK, to highlight the diversity of French writing and to create the best conditions for a production process in British theatres.
The collected texts are submitted to a reading committee of French-speaking theatre professionals who select three to four theatrical works each year.
In 2021, Cross-Channel Theatre has extended the pool of institutions to submit texts, including the SACD, RFI, France Culture, Théâtre Ouvert, La Chartreuse de Villeneuve-lez-Avignon and Les Francophonies in Limoges.
This year the laureates are:
Les Inamovibles by Sèdjro Giovanni Houansou
Seuls dans la nuit by Gwendoline Soublin
Evaporations by Camille Nauffray
Face à la mer by Jean René Lemoine
In collaboration with
Cross Channel Theatre Reading Group Sessions
- Traversée / Going Through – Estelle Savasta (2013) Translated by Kirsten Hazel Smith. Staged reading in English directed by Omar Elerian at the Soho Theatre Upstairs on 27th May 2016, and at the Summerhall for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on August 22nd.
- Pays / Country – Pedro Kadivar (2014) Translated by Simon Scardifield. Staged reading in English directed by Mark Maughan at the Soho Theatre Upstairs on 24th June 2016, and at the Summerhall for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on August 22nd.
- C’est Noël tant pis / It’s Christmas So Deal With It – Pierre Notte (2014) Translated by Simon Scardifield. Staged reading in English directed by Omar Elerian at the Soho Theatre Upstairs on 6th May 2016, and directed by Simon Scardifield at the Summerhall for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on August 22nd.
- Trois ruptures / Three splits – Rémi De Vos (2014) Translated by Chris Campbell. Produced by Institut français du Royaume-Uni at Chelsea Theatre in French with English surtitles from 19 to 24 January. Directed by Marianne Badrichani.
- 0615366417 – Pauline Peyrade (2013) Translated by Alexander Zeldin
- Les uns sur les autres / All better now – Léonore Confino (2013) Translated by Simon Scardifield. Stage reading at Soho Theatre on the 20th of March 2015.
- Combat – Gilles Granouillet (2011) Translated by Simon Scardifield
- George Kaplan – Frédéric Sonntag (2011)
- Le Père / The Father – Florian Zeller (2012) Translated by Christopher Hampton. Produced by Ustivov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath from 16 Oct to 15 Nov 2014. Directed by James McDonald. Performed at the Tricycle Theatre, London, from 7 May to 13 June 2015.
Members of the Cross Channel Theatre Reading Group
- Marianne Badrichani
Marianne Badrichani directs new translations of French plays for both West-End, Off-West End and Fringe audiences in London. Artist in residence at the French Institute in 2013, she also creates installation performances, such as The Literary Ball for the French Institute and Square Bubble at the National Theatre in 2014.
- Chris Campbell
Chris Campbell has worked as an actor and as a translator in theatres including The National, The Royal Court, The Traverse and The Birmingham Rep. He is currently Literary Manager of the Royal Court.
- Omar Elerian
Omar Elerian is an Italian/Palestian theatre director. He was trained at the Jacques Lecoq theatre school in Paris and has been the Associate Director of the Bush Theatre since 2009.
- Kate Fahy
Kate Fahy is an actor/director. She directed Wet Weather Cover at the Kings Head and the Arts Theatre and Little Black Book at the Park Theatre. Acting credits include Joanna Hogg’s film Archipelago and Edward Albee’s The Goat at the Almeida and Apollo Theatres.
- Kirsten Hazel Smith
Kirsten is a half-French/half-Scottish actor and translator with a passion for new writing. She has worked as an actor on new plays by David Greig, acclaimed stand-up comic Sara Pascoe, and on French playwright Florian Zeller’s La Verité (The Truth). Kirsten translated Estelle Savasta’s play Going Through for the Cross Channel Theatre Group.
- Beri Juraic
Beri Juraic is a theatre producer. In the UK, he worked at various off-West End theatres and founded Just a Must theatre company which specialises in producing European postdramatic texts. Prior to moving to the UK, he was director of an international francophone theatre festival in Zagreb, Croatia where he presented the works of Jean-Luc Lagarce, Bernard Marie Koltès, Didier-Georges Gabily amongst others.
- Sissi Liechtenstein
Sissi Liechtenstein is co-founder and MD of IPR Ltd, an agency focusing on introducing more international playwrights to the UK. At the beginning of her career she worked for Eric Glass Ltd, who were the UK representatives of the SACD, thus working with many important French playwrights, including the Estate Jean-Paul Sartre, Eugene Ionesco and Jean Cocteau.
- Mark Maughan
Mark Maughan is a theatre director and maker with a special interest in developing ideas with artists from the early stages of a project, dramaturgy and international work. Mark is also a reader for various theatres across the UK and translates scripts from French and Spanish for organisations such as Soho Theatre and Company of Angels.
- Henriette Morrison
Henriette runs Theatre of Europe, commissioning leading theatre directors from the continent with British creatives to premiere European work for a UK audience.
- Meredith Oakes
Meredith Oakes is a playwright, librettist and translator who fell in love with the French language as a schoolgirl in Sydney, Australia, with the help of the library of the Alliance Française.
- Simon Scardifield
Simon Scardifield is an actor, translator and writer. His most recent role was in The White Devil at the RSC, his translations have been staged at the Royal Court, and his adaptation of Agamemnon for BBC Radio3 has been shortlisted for the BBC Audio Drama Awards
- Keziah Serreau
Keziah is a theatre and circus director currently Staff director at Shakespeares Globe. She has worked with LIFT, The Royal Court Theatre, The RSC, The Roundhouse, Sadler’s Wells and Kneehigh Theatre.
- Alexander Zeldin
Alexander Zeldin is a writer/director based in London who has worked across Europe. Recipient of the Quercus Trust Award 2015, he has been appointed Associate Director at Birmingham Repertory Theatre
- Felicity Davidson
Felicity is an actor, translator and writer. Having read French and Spanish at Durham University, she trained at Drama Studio London and acts between the UK and France, most recently performing in The Magic Flute with the Budapest Festival Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall.
- Zoë Lally
Zoë is Executive Producer of Company of Angels, working across the UK and Europe, focusing on new plays for young audiences. She was previously Executive Director for Greenwich & Lewisham Young People’s Theatre (2005-2016) during which time she moved the company into the Tramshed Theatre in Woolwich and hosted the European Theatre Café. She studied French and Drama at Bristol University and spent one year working in Lyon, France.