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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

Theatre: A Moon For The Misbegotten

In keeping with an intensive week of theatre (since Si was in town), we caught a preview of Eugene O'Neill's A Moon For the Misbegotten at the Old Vic. It is the opening play for Kevin Spacey's 2006/07 season. Spacey has received a lot of flak in the press for his artistic direction over the last two years at the Old Vic, but this play is going to knock everyone's socks off. Everything about the production was fantastic.

Of course O'Neill has written a great story. You are drawn into their story around the relationship between the father and daughter still living on a run down farm, and their landlord and friend(?) who may sell the farm to them, or he may sell to a neighbour who is offering more… From there the story unfolds…

Eve Best in the central role gave an incredibly engaging performance. Spacey and Colm Meaney were also fabulous. The play was so full of life and the performances were so enjoyable that the audience members who hadn't passed out from the heat gave the cast a standing ovation at the end.  At this point I would advise to potential theatre-goers to the Old Vic to avoid alcohol until after a play as the theatre has no air conditioning and gets incredibly warm. In the circle where I sat, people were leaving (or rather staggering out) because of it.

Still they missed a great play. It is in previews until next week but I suspect it will become the must see play this autumn. Spacey was also in the news this week selling the most expensive tickets to the play in an auction for Bill Clinton's charity. At £130,000 for four tickets, that must set a new West End record…

After the play Si and I were both in agreement about it. I thought was probably a good antidote to Daddy Cool, the other show he saw that day. Daddy Cool is a musical set to the music of Bony M and if that isn't bad enough, features some dull star from Eastenders. The show also includes an enormous parrot which hangs in the dome of the theatre. Si didn't stick around for the second act so he couldn't tell me what it did, but in the first act it just was in the ceiling, and very visible to everyone. What a parrot is doing in a jukebox show set in multicultural London is anybody's guess I suppose. It opens on Thursday this week… Maybe the papers will explain it then…

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