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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

Life in London: When Theatre Goes Bad

On Friday evening I saw an awful piece of theatre in Kentish Town. It was at a theatre pub where the patrons of this boozer seemed to be street drinkers and addicts of various sorts. It was a pity they weren't in the play themselves as it would have given the play a little character. From time to time there were flashes of something that made it watchable, but for the most part I sat there wondering how many flats could be made from this upstairs space and whether it was productions like this that caused the death of theatre pubs across London.

It isn't necessary to know the name of the production as it has finished, but a friend of a friend of friend was in the production. So at the end of the show the inevitible discussion and dilemma about what to say we thought of the show ensued. In the end we all settled for lying through our teeth and saying what a challenging and thought-provoking show it was. Well, actors can be so sensitive, and usually (as in this case) the director was primarily responsible for this shambles...

It was funny as a week earlier after seeing a production of Turandot at the Royal Opera the audience let it be known what they thought of the leads by reserving the largest applause for a supporting part of Liu the slave girl. Alas that was easier as with such a larger audience it was easier to be anonymous. So here's to those euphamisms for crap shows - interesting, challenging, and thought provoking. I intend to use them throughout the year for shows that aren't quite as memorable as August: Osage Country...

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