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Writers Projects - Case Study: The Happy Lads

Award-winning playwright Rob Drummond wrote a new Scottish version of Hideo Tsuchida's The Steel Tower, a Japanese play about a group of entertainment corps gone AWOL during an unspecified war.  

"The Playwrights Studio Writers Project allowed me the opportunity to write an adaptation of Cody Poulton's translation of the modern Japanese play, Steel Tower by Hideo Tsuchida. The process involved an initial reading of the translation of the play with a very talented group of actors, during which we explored and played with the text in order to get our heads around just how best to serve the original play whilst also adapting it for a Scottish audience.

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"There is always the question of balancing an absolute respect of the initial words and situations with the need to adapt the language and references in order that the feeling, the soul of the original, can be communicated effectively in a different context. After this initial session I took all we had discovered and wrote an adaptation of the translation, working closely with the director, David Overend, who constantly made me justify any change I had made to the original in order to make sure we never deviated too far from the source material and never without good reason."

The final script was performed as a rehearsed reading at Up Close in February 2013.

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(Images: Happy Lads rehearsed reading, Up Close, 2013. Photo by Martins Melecis.)

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