Introduction The metanarrative of translation is a significant element for the practice of British playwright Martin Crimp. His works are translated into over twenty languages, and some are performed in translation before their English-language premiere. Crimp (b. 1956) also translates French drama for performance in the English language, and is the author of English texts for plays that were originally written in German or Russian. However, translation is not only the system within which Crimp operates, it also informs the content of his writing. Crimp’s engagement with translation as a practice and phenomenon is particularly evident in his 2008 play, The City. Clair, the translator at the heart of Crimp’s play, interrogates the activity and ontology of translation on many levels. Clair demonstrates and discusses the tensions between creation and reproduction in her own work through what is seen and heard on stage, but Crimp also manipulates his construction of Clair’s character to query the existentialism of translation and creation. Ultimately, Clair gives up her struggle to populate an imagined (or translated) city with characters who could live independently of her invention. “I was no writer-that much was clear. I’d like to say how sad the discovery of my own emptiness made me, but the truth is I feel as I write this down nothing but relief” (Crimp The City 2008, 63). Clair’s admission addresses one of the central themes debated by practising translators and academic translation specialists: is translation a creative activity, and what is the nature of the translator’s re-enactment of the author’s invention?