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Kafka-ish: Kafka @Finborough

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
Movie: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

After a hectic day in the office I decided to go and see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was playing at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton, which is a grand old theatre that is a feature on the high street which has great seats and a good sound system... No trip to Brixton is complete without a visit to the cinema (although try and get to see a film in the main cinema and not in the extended bit)...

As for the movie, I recently had a discussion with a Gene Wilder devotee who was passionately arguing that nobody could come near his comic genius. I thought that was all very well but that first movie had all those dreadful songs and departed from the book in several key places. Besides, I thought Johnny Depp would make this far more interesting and he did by becoming Michael Jackson. There is a scene towards the end where Wonka tries to lure Charlie away from his family into his big glass elevator so they could live together - and alone - which surely could have been lifted straight from a Martin Bashir documentary.

To be fair on the film and not just take the fashionable reading of the day, it was very entertaining. There are a few smart updates to the original story as well (although I am not sure why Mike TeeVee's father replaces his mother... The gender balance seems all wrong there)... Roald Dahl's text remains for the Oompa Loompa songs, and they seem a lot more fun than the last time I recalled them too. All told a not particularly subtle at points (there is this heavy handed aside into Wonkas upbringing), overall it was fun... And cruel... Squirrels attacking a girl from Buckinghamshire is surely something anyone in their right mind will want to pay to see!

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