The cover of Catriona Morrison's play, I Kiss You ou l'hétéroglossie du bilinguisme

Alumna Catriona Morrison, graduate with a Masters in Translation Studies, has recently published her first play

  • 26 June 2017
  • 3 min read

Alumna Catriona Morrison who graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a Masters in Translation Studies has recently published her first play.

About the play

I Kiss You ou l'hétéroglossie du bilinguisme

Kerry Morris is a British woman on the verge of applying for a French passport. But for Kerry, obtaining a new passport is more that just an administrative process; before she can immerse herself into French culture, she must overcome her fear of having to abandon her roots, and thus her sense of identity. In an effort to resolve her dilemma, Kerry addresses the audience and shares, with a typically English sense of self-derision, anecdotes and outrageous clichés, the linguistic and cultural awkwardness bilinguals and expatriates can experience when navigating between their two worlds.

The play is not so much about differences as about the gaps that exist between them: there is an unnameable, grey space between languages that means that bilinguals can never be entirely on one side or the other, never whole in their vision of the world, but can only experience everything on a comparative parallel, or from somewhere in the middle. Kerry exposes the richness of this no-man's land, and asks: "which sound does the cockerel truly make? Cock-a-doodle-doo, as in English, or Cocorico, as in French?

About the author

Catriona Morrison is a British national living in France. She was short-listed in a young writer’s competition run by The Guardian in 1980, and later wrote two articles for The Stage. Her move to France, in 1988, with a level of French no better than the GCSE she had gained two years earlier, for some time thwarted any further efforts to write.

In 1994, Catriona returned to the UK to train as an actress at LAMDA, but not long after completing her training was called back to France to work as an "artiste en résidence" at l'Atelier du Rhin, Colmar. She spent several years there, tackling, in French, linguistically challenging roles such as Violaine in Paul Claudel's The Tidings Brought to Mary [L'annonce faite à Marie].

After participating in a French-Vietnamese theatre project in Paris and Hanoi, Catriona became interested in translation, and in June 2016 obtained, with distinction, a Master of Arts degree for which she had specialised in drama translation from the University of Portsmouth. In 2015 she won joint 2nd prize in the University of Portsmouth's writing competition "Tonguefreed - creative writing in a foreign language" with her play Miranda and the Black Hole [Miranda et le trou noir]. Drama translations include Dirty Cashier [Les Caissières sont moches] by Pierre Guillois, and The President, the Journalist and Nothing [Le président, la journaliste et rien] by Pascal Adam.

The cover of Catriona Morrison's play, I Kiss You ou l'hétéroglossie du bilinguisme

I Kiss You ou l'hétéroglossie du bilinguisme was written in 2017 and can be ordered online here.

Watch a teaser here.

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