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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

Puss and Dick under the influence: Kitten in Heels @LostTheatre

Kitten in Heels, playing at the Lost Theatre, takes the Dick Whittington pantomime and adds lashings of filth and smut. It's a naughty night out where the King Rat bears an unusual resemblance to Theresa May, and Dick's love interests is more interested in buying lemons.

But to really appreciate this show you need to be imbued with plenty of Christmas cheer.
There is a bar both inside the theatre and outside of it to assist, which may help overlook the slow pacing and the amateurish production. Plenty of audience members were making the most of the bars, but the effect was that they were making their own entertainment.

The story involves Dick inheriting a talking cat with a penchant for shoes. Heading off to London they meet Dame Choo of Shoes the Chemist. Dick falls in love with Dame Choo’s daughter Jenny. But Jenny seems to be hard to please. Meanwhile there is King Rat who between buying up properties and taking away affordable housing he is running for mayor.

It is topical and funny, there is a nice balance of cast members of both genders, but there is an awful lot of plot. It could have much more potential if it served as a showcase of the talents of its eccentric cast. There are also some wonderful costumes for Paul L Martin as Dame Choo, but the sum does not feel more than its often good parts.

Kitten in Heels is at the Lost Theatre on Saturday 12 December and then Friday 18 December through to Sunday 20 December.


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