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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

Theatre: A Clockwork Orange

The London riots come to mind when thinking about A Clockwork Orange, which has been "re-imagined" at the Theatre Royal Stratford East. While it is not the entire focus of the story, the lawlessness and the violence that features in this story evokes the memories of August when fear and panic gripped the city. A Clockwork Orange serves to remind us that perhaps this is not a new problem for this part of the world...

This re-imagining and musicalisation of the story does take a different approach to the book by Anthony Burgess. But taking it on its own merits rather than a faithful adaptation it makes for a engaging and entertaining evening out.

There is no classical music in this version of the story. Instead we have some thrilling music by Fred Carl that appears to be inspired by jazz, hip hop and perhaps AfroReggae. For the most part this propels the story forward and gives the performances the opportunity to deliver some emotionally charged songs.

Holding the show together is a terrific performance by Ashley Hunter. A lot of this show rests on his performance and he holds your attention as the violent delinquent Alex. One to watch.

Under the glow from the newly-opened Westfield Stratford City (and a small fire from a bin alight from a stray cigarette) @johnnyfoxlondon and I recorded the following Audioboo during the interval... Worth a trip out east to catch... And perhaps even to take a peek at the new mega mall as well... Although maybe you should check out his Londonist review before making that decision... And mind the glass ceilings...

Burning boo: half way through A Clockwork Orange (mp3)

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