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Maison Foo

Maison Foo: Overcoming Language Barriers

Derby-based theatre company Maison Foo, worked with Talking Birds Theatre, a key project partner, to pilot translated captions into Arabic during their theatre production of A Thing Mislaid. Initially, Maison Foo worked with a professionaltranslator to translate the script, and subsequently worked with a member of their Sanctuary Seeker Steering Group, Ahmed Alabdali, to tweak and edit the translations as the production went into the final stages of rehearsal.

A Thing Mislaid explores themes of migration, journeying, friendship, displacement and hope; all things that they feel resonate with audiences concerned about the personal stories and needs of sanctuary seekers. During the research and development of the production, the company developed a steering group with Derby Refugee Advice Centre; members contributed to the themes and details in the show, in addition to helping translate welcome messages in Arabic, Farsi and Kurdish for flyers and programmes for the tour of A Thing Mislaid. The group also collaborated with Maison Foo to design a ‘Meet Your Neighbour Party’ – a unique and joyous event that celebrated the group’s cultures – sharing food, dance moves and stories.

Maison Foo have received funding to develop an installation, on the same theme as Meet Your Neighbour, which will celebrate the voices and stories of sanctuary seekers across the country.


(Photo Credit: Robert Day)