Podcast – Episode 18 – The Power of Adaptation

Written by Ségolène

December 2, 2020

Only 4 weeks left of 2020, and I’m looking to 2021 for inspiration and guidance already. ⁠

This month, we’ll be exploring a few themes to get you ready to keep your word, and to fuel your Voice, your expression and your projects in 2021.⁠ You can head over to my instagram for the full December Podcast Menu.

I’ll be announcing the January 2021 episodes soon, so keep an eye out over there! Meanwhile, le’s focus on today’s episode.

Today it’s all about the Power of Adaptation, and the difference between changing and adapting. And for that, I’m traveling back to last February when I discovered Martin Crimp’s new adaptation of one of my all-time favorite French plays: Cyrano de Bergerac⁠

What does Adapting mean?

In this episode I share my thoughts on what I feel adapting means.
But before diving into this, guide you into what lead me to recording these thoughts.

Last february, my good friend Katie and I went to see Cyrano de Bergerac at the
Playhouse Theatre in London. It’s our thing with Katie. We met through Theatre,
and now every year we choose shows to go see together. As soon as I saw playwright
Martin Crimp had written a new version, I pretty much imposed  this as our first
Theatre Outing of 2020. With Lockdown and the arts closing down,
it was also our last.

As the curtain fell, I was beaming with joy because for the first time in years it was the
first version I saw which did not simply try to be a new translation.

In my eyes, an adaptation should honor the essence of the original material.
You can have some of the best performers in the land, the best director:
if the essence of the play is not honored in the language you’re using then
you will miss out on so much.

You’ll miss out on the truth, the essence, the magical core that made you love
original in the first place.

I’ve seen a few Cyrano adaptations over the years. I love to see it in other languages!
Because it’s the perfect way to see the Magic of Words in another set of parameters.

Cyrano de Bergerac isn’t simply about a man with an ugly nose, a love triangle, or
the fine line between foolish bravado and bravey. That’s just the surface…

Cyrano is about the insecurity and fear of rejection shared by all:
because of your appearance…
because you feel you’re inadequate or incapable of expressing your emotions…
because your social circumstance can look like a golden cage…

But more than that, and I touch on it a lot more in the episode…

Cyrano is a love letter to language.

To words. Their power.

Now this power lay deep inside, far beyond the ink and shapes of each letter.

It lives in the essence of what they describe and stand for.

And this is what adapting is all about. Even in life.

We’re often ask to change. 

Whether it’s something about the way we work, the way we are or interact with others, our physical appearance…

Change becomes something that we fear because it’s removing or cutting off a part of us. And quite often, as we go through changes, we go violently through it. The choice that we make afterwards is crucial: 

If you spend your time looking back, 
If you drastically remove something from your life… Chances are those changes you’re making won’t last.

In adapting and adaptation, in diving in to meet the essence, the core, the truth, stands the possibility of carrying on. 
Because what you’re doing is working on preserving  the essence of you into the new set of parameters life’s thrown
at you.

We all have the power to create adaptations, to adapt. 

It doesn’t mean that Change is the enemy or a destructive force. It’s what you decide to do when presented with change that’s important. 

Adapting your life to its new parameters…

Adapting your dish to feed a crowd…

Adapting a play from one language to the next… 

Preserve the original essence through the shift.


Have a lovely week! I’ll speak to you soon. 


Ségo xx