Helping Stage Entertainment Bring Famous Musicals to New Audiences

Industries: Literature & the Arts

Chicago theatre sign

Stage Entertainment is an international theatrical production company with theatres in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, France and Italy. Their venues have been home to some of the world’s most iconic shows, such as Mamma Mia!, Ghost, and The Lion King.

Stage Entertainment approached Guildhawk in 2017 to help with localisation of the stage musical Grease for French audiences. It was important that both the song’s lyrics and spoken lines resonated with French audiences, while still retaining the feeling and intention of the English-language original.

Broadway street sign

Our Expertise

As musical scripts and songs, even in translated form, are subject to copyright, Guildhawk’s primary role in the larger localisation process was to help Stage Entertainment to ensure original creators and rights holders were up-to-date and approving of the translated versions.

Once scripts and songs had gone through initial translation and adaptation, rough run-throughs and fixes for rhythm, rhyme, etc., Guildhawk took responsibility for backtranslating the localised versions into English as literally as possible, so that these literal versions could be passed to creators. Having this version in their own native language allowed writers and creators to check no major deviations had been made from the original and to have input on any items they wished.

For this work, accuracy and speed were paramount. The overall localisation process had many moving parts, all contingent on each other, so any delays along the way could jeopardise opening night. Guildhawk put in place an expert team of creative linguists, with experience of the sector and of the backtranslation process, ready to turn around the work in the tight timelines required for success.

The extreme quality of what you do is why we work with you time and again. And this is not an easy exercise. It’s very well done!

Eric Loustau-Carrere, Stage Entertainment
Red Curtain

The Outcome

After the resounding success of the Grease localisation, Stage Entertainment has continued to work with Guildhawk on a regular basis. Some of the projects we have worked on together include French-language productions of Cats, Chicago, Ghost, and The Producers, all staged at the famous Théâtre Mogador in Paris.

For more on our work with Stage Entertainment, and the importance of translation in what they do, take a look at our Sector Spotlight interview with Eric Loustau-Carrere, Executive Producer of the Théâtre Mogador in Paris. Of Guildhawk, Loustau-Carrere says: “The extreme quality of what you do is why we work with you time and again. And this is not an easy exercise. It’s very well done!”