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‘David Johnston has a feel for Spanish and English like that of a lover; he’s a poet and a man of the theatre, but most importantly he’s also a contemporary of Lope, Tirso and Calderón. There’s no other way of explaining the vivid translations he has written.’ Juan Mayorga What this book most definitely is not is yet another academic discussion of Lope de Vega, Calderón and their contemporaries, divorced from any understanding of what makes these plays work so brilliantly on our stages. Instead it is a leading contemporary translator’s account of why these plays deserve to assume their rightful place in our performance repertoire, firmly set within the demands and opportunities of how our theatre works. In a way it is the story of a love affair between a translator and a dramatic tradition whose riches are only now becoming apparent to theatre audiences; but it is also an exploration of the ways in which translation itself takes plays that are distant from us in time and space and makes them real and visible in terms of our own experience and our contemporary sensibilities.