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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: Don Pasquale

Donizetti's Don Pasquale at the Royal Opera was a nice way to spend a Sunday evening. Not good or bad but nice. There was nothing terribly engaging about the performances, and in the first act it was a struggle to hear anything much from the cast. Later we were informed that one of the cast members was having problems but would persevere for us all. But the opera is witty and the story around an old man who marries to spite his nephew moves briskly through its three acts and comes with some laughs.

Particularly exciting was watching conductor Evelino Pidò conduct the opera chorus in the third act, which was a performance in itself. Jonathan Miller's 2001 production still looks fair enough, although its doll's house set design manages to distract one's attention and is possibly the reason for the poor quality sound. On the other hand you do get a better view of the cast than you would normally sitting in the amphitheatre... It runs through September and worth catching...

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