Reviewed by: The University of Adelaide
Review by Joel Slattery | 01 March 2022

Note to readers: just to make it clear, this review is specifically focussing on the Pirates of the Caribbean show. Lost in Translation changes the script on each performance. Other performances translate the scripts of Chicken Run, Titanic, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.

Lost in Translation (the fringe show, not the film) was a confusing, hilarious mess which allowed for constant tears in my eyes and howls of laughter from the audience. There was not a single moment that didn’t gain a laugh from the crowd and I wish I could go to every performance – they’re all different.

Firstly, I should give a bit of an explanation as to how this show works. Each performance is of a different movie script that has been put through an online translator several times and into many different languages. The script is then translated back into English and then performed on stage by a cast who have never read the script before.

You may think that translating a script a hundred times might make the script completely nonsensical. And you’d be correct, but that’s not all there is too it. The story is ridiculous. It features some of my favourite childhood characters forgetting how to breathe, obsessing over Olympic gold medals, and saying highly suggestive things to each other. Just to give you an idea of that, the line “we know you’re here, daddy!” will forever be stuck in my head and I’m so happy about that.

But the show is not completely incomprehensible. It does follow the film’s basic plot outline, and you can pretty easily make it out. The sentences all make some sense, but as the title suggest they’re just lost in translation. It’s not a good way to experience the film for someone who has never seen the film before, and it never intends to be that. But I find it particularly funny that, despite the ridiculous story in the show, the film is still buried deep in all the translations.

Now, onto the usual question: Is it good, Joel? Most definitely. My mask was getting really uncomfortable with how many times I audibly laughed. But the show made that worth it.

5/5 stars.