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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

Opera: Rigoletto

Tuesday night I found myself watching full frontal nudity and simulated sex at the Royal Opera House during the opening few minutes of Rigoletto. Now normally I would not have such a problem with seeing this, but I found myself preoccupied trying to work out if the actress having sex with a reasonably endowed actor had a Brazilian or a French. After much checking... It was definitely French. By the time the first act closed, I was distracted so much that I had to read the synopsis to work out what happened.

It is a pity that this production (which has only been around since 2001) seems now to be full of distractions, but the performances made up for it. The last few operas I had caught had singers that were at times a bit suspect - both vocally and in the acting department - but this was not the case on Tuesday night. The audience reserved its most cheers for Leo Nucci in the title role.

Rigoletto is a great story as well so there is so much going for this production... Even if on Tuesday night the direction and the set felt a little superfluous....

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