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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

Christmas Fare: A Christmas Carol @ORLTheatre

A Christmas Carol at the Old Red Lion Theatre is an enjoyable and evocative version of the tale that uses resourceful staging, some fine singing and subtle performances to tell Dickens' tale.

The story of ghosts, greed and goodwill is now a regular Christmas theatrical tradition and works best mixed with carols and some festive cheer.

There is a timeless element to this production. While there are nods to the Victorian period and the piece is faithful to the original story, the ensemble dress in contemporary clothes and use modern props as if to prompt you to ponder about the inequalities that exist today. There may not be workhouses but there still are the working poor.

Alexander McMorran as Scrooge is moody but never over the top. His transformation after being visited by the ghosts of past, present and future also avoids over-sentimentality.

The ensemble play a variety of characters but also provide vocal effects and commentary that add to the atmosphere and inventiveness of the piece. I particularly liked the interjection when Scrooge curses where they apologise for the audience having to see that.

An enjoyable 80 minutes of Christmas fare along with being a little thought-provoking as well. It runs through to January.

Photo credit: Production photo by Anna Söderblom

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