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Kafka-ish: Kafka @Finborough

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In offering proof that Kafka is everything to everyone - writer-performer Jack Klaff plays various roles, including the man himself in what is a part tour, part immersion and part legend of Franz Kafka. He is a writer who achieved fame after his life was cut short due to succumbing to tuberculosis at the age of forty. He is probably better known for his reputation and the Kafkaesque style attributed to his writing than his life. But after this piece, you’re left curious to learn more about the man and his works. And that has to be the best theatrical tribute you could give a writer, even for a writer who stipulated that his works be destroyed upon his death. It’s currently playing at the Finborough Theatre . Franz Kafka was born in Prague in 1883. In 1901, he was admitted to a university and began studying law. While studying, he met Max Brod, who would become his best friend and eventual literary executor. Brod would posthumously publish many of his works and writings. Kafka’s life co
Music: André Previn and the LSO

Tuesday night caught André Previn and the LSO performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No 24 in C Minor and Shostakovich's Symphony No 10 in E Minor. Previn's 75 this year (or he may be 76 but little facts like that get in the way of pressing schedules) and as a tribute to their former music director, the LSO have been holding a series of concerts to mark the occasion.

It was an amazing performance. Previn played the piano for the concerto as well. The Mozart was probably a little too light after a busy day in the office, but there was no chance the Shostakovich would send you to sleep. At times it was like it would wake the dead.

Whatever his age may be, he has been a prominent figure for so many years it is easy to remember most of the photos around of him are often a decade (or two or three) old. But today, on Tuesday night, he was quite an old man. He shuffled on stage with his head arched low. He changed glasses for conducting and playing the piano. At one point it looked as if like he wasn't so stable on his feet. But through all this you could also see that he was having a tremendous time. Just before starting the Shostakovich he looked up over the orchestra and smiled at them all before giving the upbeat. It looked like it was all fun for both conductor and the orchestra.

As a "bonus" for the Tuesday evening, the LSO also presented a new short work as part of its Sound Adventures programme. It was a piece of a lot of noise and was interesting the sounds a big symphony orchestra could make. It was also written by a very talented new British composer. But it did sit a little oddly next to the Mozart. Nevertheless judging by the reviews most of the punters thought this way of introducing new music to the public was a smashing idea. Well sort of anyway... Well giving the punters new music was never going to be easy...

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