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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

Unfinished business: Continuity @Finborough @Continuityplay

It's an odd feeling to laughing along with man about plant a bomb... But such is the world you're drawn into with Gerry Moynihan's Continuity, currently at the Finborough Theatre.

What's chilling about this this monologue is how it hooks you in to the story . Here the cause is taken as a given. Unquestioned, unflinching and ongoing... The Good Friday Agreement is the thin veneer of peace that conceals what's really happening on the ground. The ongoing rough justice, score settling and resistance that is largely unreported.

The story involves Padraig (Paul Kennedy), a member of the Continuity IRA. He is dedicated to the cause. But after meeting a girl from Barcelona, he soon finds his colleagues questioning him  about his commitment. And he begins to wonder about it himself.

Kennedy's Padriag is an engaging storyteller as he moves from cracking jokes to the details of planting a bomb. His likability catches you off guard as the story takes a darker turn. But he's also effective in bringing to life the world he inhabits - the humanity and inhumanity of it all.

The space of the Finborough, which is also being used as an Edwardian drawing room for Just To Get Married, is transformed by May Hannah Davies into something darker here. The drop cloths and moody lighting (and maybe the smell of fresh paint from the recent theatre refurb) emphasise the murky nature of the story.

Underscoring the tense mood with samples of news reports and an eclectic choice of music is Anna Clock's sound design.

Naturally being a story about Northern Ireland, violence and death feature throughout. It's enough to make you wonder what frictionless post-Brexit solution will be necessary to bring this closer to a resolution.

Directed by Shane Dempsey, Continuity is at the Finborough Theatre on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesday matinees until 19 August.


Photos by Gary Wolf

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