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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: Cirque Du Soleil - Totem

Cirque Du Soleil's journey of the origin of the species - Totem - returns to the Royal Albert Hall for a limited run. Directed by Robert Lepage, it is a thrilling and beautiful show. People fly through the air, juggle, unicycle, play tricks and clown around. It is all spectacular stuff.

I caught it last year and enjoyed it, but this time around it seemed even better. Whether it was the expectation of what was to come, or the appreciation that no performance is exactly the same it was a great night out that had the audience on its feet at the end.

The set consists of a large swamp complete with a giant turtle carapace. A crystal man sets the proceedings in motion, and throughout the show the circus set pieces are guided by a tracker, scientist and an Amerindian dancer.  There is much to take in with the spectacular set pieces, the individual acts, the music and the costumes telling a story of evolution. There are the businessmen on poles, the ladies on unicycles, and the crystal girls with the spinning towels cloths all delivered incredibly thrilling performances. 

And while you're sure that when you see there is a man in tights with a large codpiece and lady hanging from him that you are in store for some spectacular acrobatic stunts. But the thrill of watching this show is in how beautiful and seductive it is. 

There are other circus acts out there, but none look as good or are as classy. Worth a trip to marvel at the achievement of it all. It runs through to 16 February. 

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