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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: Bands and Cigarettes

An old school friend sent me a message asking if life in London was an endless stream of theatre productions and overheard conversations. Well basically I would have to say (in between the rest), yes... So bearing that in mind, Fraser and I went to see two short plays by the National Youth Theatre at the Soho Theatre (or should that be the national yoof featre?)...

Anyway, the first play The Band was about a bunch of Manchunians bitching and moaning... I could relate to it as I lived with a Manchunian and that's seem to be what they do best... Fraser wasn't so enthralled by it with all its teen angst and overplayed drama. Besides he was still pissed that I had arrived late to the theatre and there wasn't time for a drink beforehand... Still even sober I thought it was great fun. Even better was that it was short and short is always a good thing... As mid week who has the attention span to last longer than 50 minutes before an interval or break?

The second play was 20 Cigarettes, which also featured the not-so-youthful Simon Dutton. I quite enjoyed watching Simon Dutton but Fraser started to wonder if the large glass of wine I consumed during interval had gone to my head... It was all those well-pronounced vowels I suppose... Anyway the play was a great ensemble piece and quite funny. There were lots of cigarettes too (along with the odd cigar). Special permission has to be sought to do that sort of thing on stage nowadays since smoking is the new pornography... But for good reason I suppose... Watching Harry Melling puff away on a cigar made me wish I hadn't given away all my cigars last week at a colleague's leaving work do. All told I would go again. Not just because the plays were good (and short), or the actors are the very talented stars of tomorrow... But for the passive smoking...

Leaving the theatre, there was an even bigger crowd waiting to see Miss Coco Peru. Strangely they were mostly male mostly recognisable from my gym. Who knew so many men are out there looking for cheap laughs?

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