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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

Dirty stop out: Dirty Great Love Story @ArtsTheatreLDN

Dirty Great Love Story at the Arts Theatre is casual sex described through poetry. After a one night stand two hopeless romantics then spend the next few years trying to avoid each other. While speaking mostly in rhyming verse.

The only problem with this premise is that if the rhyming isn't particular clever you have a bit of a problem what the point of it all is. Even Pam Ayres is funny. Here it is mostly perplexing and the verse gets in the way of everything else.

The drama and comedy is derived from their different perspectives on their first encounter. From her point of view, he is a mistake who keeps popping up at parties and generally being an irritant. For him, she is perfect.

Things pick up towards the end as the comedy reaches its inevitable conclusion but by this point you might have given up.

As the unlikely couple Felix Scott and Ayesha Antoine keep the momentum and manage to convey meaning out of the flimsiest of dialogue and rhyme.

This was a hit at Edinburgh in 2012, but today it feels dated. Hen nights and drinking in bars all night at clubs seems curious in the era of Tinder.

Perhaps it needs the smaller space (and a shorter running time) to make it feel more naturalistic. Or the theatre isn't the place for two-handed romantic comedies.

Written by Richard Marsh and Katie Bonna and directed by Pia Furtado, Dirty Great Love Story is at the Arts Theatre until 18 March.


Photo credit: Richard Davenport for The Other Richard

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