Steamed Yeast Buns and One-Man Charades: Thursday 3rd November

I am currently attempting to translate the script for ‘Route 99’ (the play that is being performed by The Gold Theatre troupe), simply so that I have something resembling a clue when it comes to rehearsals. Working on the assumption that I am able to ‘translate’ 5 pages a day, I hope to have a fuller understanding of what the play is based on about a week before show time. However, my task is made infinitely harder, because as well as the numerous grammar points and vocabulary that I am meeting for the first time, there are a number of cultural references that have left me stumped. So whilst every Japanese person would know that a ‘manjuu’ is a type of steamed yeast bun with filling, I was convinced that it had something to do with the ‘dead centre’ (whose kanji, if read like an idiot, could also be misread as manjuu). When I finally found out that people were talking about the famous cake of the island on which the play is set, rather than it’s infamous middle, things started to become a whole lot clearer. I’m trying to ignore the fact that there are over 50 character names to remember, as it will just give me nightmares.

I have no idea what this was doing outside of a building on my way to work, but I very nearly considered planning my first hit and run.

After this afternoon’s rehearsal, I spent the early evening preparing packs of marketing flyers. They were all lined up on two tables (back to back) and fellow co-workers and I had to file round in a clockwise direction, making up the packs as we went. It was one of the most tedious hours of my recent existences, and the only way to get through it was to play a number of little games as I went: ‘How many times can I catch up to the person in front within five minutes?’; ‘can I do an entire ream using only one hand?’; and my personal favourite ‘How loud and for how long can I hum a song until someone turns round and abjectly stares at me, thereby forcing me to end said musical interlude?’ Thankfully we finished before I got around to starting a game of one-man charades.


About truehamlet

Sam is a senior lecturer in Science Communication, who researches the different ways in which media such as poetry and film can be used to communicate science to new audiences.
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