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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

Theatre: The Voysey Inheritance

Monday I caught the Voysey Inheritance at the National. Written in 1905 by Harley Granville Barker (a pioneer of modern directing methods and an advocate of the concept of a national government subsidised theatre one learns from the programme notes), the play is full of great lines and observations of the upper middle classes in Edwardian times. The family at the centre of the drama find out upon the death of their father their wealth was the product of a finance fraud, and it is left to one of the sons to pick up the pieces. The cast helped too with Dominic West (as the son), Julian Glover, Doreen Mantle and Nancy Carroll part of a terrific ensemble.

The production is getting quite a number of raves and given that stories of insider trading, managers raiding pension funds, and financial mismanagement still dominate the news these days there seemed something thoroughly modern about the play as well…

The only downside to the production would have to be the set which not only looked cheap, blocked the view of actors. At one point I didn't realise West was on stage during the fifth act until he spoke. There was also the curious sound of running water that came somewhere from backstage. It was a bit of a distraction, particularly sitting front row…

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