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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

Chance encounters girlfriends take: Blind Date

It is unusual to be raving about a show that nobody else will see, but Blind Date which is having a limited seven week run at the Charing Cross theatre, is an improvised show that is original and funny where no show will be quite the same, but where each show no doubt shows the magic, sweetness and humanity that arises from chance encounters.

Keeping it all together is Rebecca Northan as the optimistic Mimi, who finds herself stood up on her blind date. Rather than let that get her down, she turns to the audience to help her out. She wears a clown nose, speaks with a French accent and has a great set of legs. What then happens for the next ninety minutes is a masterclass in improvisation and working with the audience.

Northan, who hails from Canada, and her show has won several awards. She is the recipient of two 2012 Canadian Comedy Awards for "Best Female Improviser" and "Best Comedic Play" for Blind Date, a winner of the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Award for Improvisation, and a 2010 Betty Mitchell Award (Calgary) for "Best Female in a Musical or Comedy."

Charing Cross Theatre, is transformed into a lively little cabaret scene with red curtains and sexy music. Before the show begins, Northan is talking to members of the audience along with her fellow cast members. For reasons that will become clear later, this plays an important part in the show. Her supporting cast also work to keep the show finely balanced as scenes move and you never quite can tell whether what things are happening are real or not.

Her date the night I dropped in was a young man called "Barty" who already drew attention to himself before the show as he was dressed in gym gear. It transpires that he rode his bike to the theatre but was there with his girlfriend. He became the surprising hero of the show despite interjections from other men in the audience.

Whether it is comedy, stand up, a social experiment or a combination of all, it is a fascinating, sweet and funny night at the theatre. If you have a boyfriend, you should take him along to the show, but save the surprise...

After the show it was left to @Johnnyfoxlondon and I to decipher what we have seen in an Audioboo. At the time I think we were not so sure... But I think both of us want to go back and see it again...
listen to ‘Blind Date Boo’ on Audioboo

If you want to delve more into the background of the show and the origin of her clown character Mimi, there is an interview with her on Canadian radio below. 

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