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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: Forbidden Broadway

Initial impressions of Forbidden Broadway which is currently in preview but opens later this week at the Menier Chocolate Factory


It has been a while since I have been to the theatre and blogged about it. Sure I could have written about Frances Ruffelle's cabaret show at Madame Jo Jos saying it was good but after a long day rehearsing with the London Gay Men's Chorus, I wanted something funnier. I could have also written about opening night of La Traviata with Renée Fleming which was also fantastic (overlooking the first act and the over-egged production). But it was the sheer cheap laughs and silliness of Forbidden Broadway that is worth a blog update.

While it was a little short side, there were enough fresh barbs at the London theatre scene including Elaine Paige, the West End Whingers, audience members, and even Susan Boyle, along with with material previously performed from the off-Broadway review to keep everyone entertained. Well maybe everyone who is a little in the know about the world of musicals... It is a bit of a worrying sign to be amused so much by in-jokes about musical theatre. The opening number about an argument between two homosexuals could have been a scene from any conversation in the Dress Circle shop in Covent Garden. Maybe I am just more theatrically inclined than I think I am. Well that is something to ponder over Pride I suppose...

Anyway the cast of Anna-Jane Casey, Sophie-Louise Dann, Alasdair Harvey and Steven Kynman were all pretty darn funny and worked hard for the evening's entertainment as well.

After the show the gathering of bloggers and hangers on suggested to the creative team including creator Gerard Alessandrini that the show could do with taking the piss out of Sister Act. For no other reason than it is a big, obvious, target. The bizarre show using Michael Jackson's music, was also suggested as another candidate. Then again the humour in Forbidden Broadway has always been incisive rather than just sending up any old mediocre show. It is too bad that Plague Over England wasn't still running as I would have enjoyed a comedy routine about how a play set in a urinal passes for drama in the West End...

Anyway the show is well worth catching and is a refreshing injection of life into the theatre scene in London. Actually the theatre scene over the summer has looked a bit lifeless of late. Maybe it is the heat. Or the fact that it is summer. Fortunately during this time of high temperatures the Chocolate Factory is air conditioned... Well at least the theatre. The bar and restaurant is another story altogether...

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