Showing posts from February, 2021

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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

It's a kind of magic: The Sorcerer's Apprentice @tsamusical

  The story of the Sorcerer's Apprentice is updated to modern tastes in this funny and engaging new family musical. Here a father and his rebellious daughter discover their magic and save their town from a bunch of brooms while making a few observations about parenting, science and the environment.  Filmed at the Southwark Playhouse in February, it's also a reminder about what we're still missing from live theatre. While it's great to see a new show streamed online, you also have to let your imagination remind you where there would be applause and laughter from this energetic and thoughtful production. Hopefully, we will get the chance to see this show live someday.  Written by Richard Hough and Ben Morales Frost, the story takes place in a small northern town called Midgard. It's on the brink of environmental destruction due to the endless search for prosperity. Eva, played by Mary Moore (making her professional stage/streaming debut), is a school dropout. But she

Summer streams: West End Musical Drive-In #Westendmusicaldrivein

West End Musical Drive-in was an ingenious way to combat social distancing regulations over the past summer and give performers the chance to be on stage during the pandemic.  Now, if you missed the excitement and enthusiasm of the 2020 concerts, Stream Theatre is giving you a chance over the next month to re-live the experience from home. The streamed shows feel like they capture the relief, the raw energy and the occasional rain shower that made up the summer of 2020. The shows were staged at a drive-in venue off the London north circular, with various West End performers. Part show, part drive-in and part immersive experience. Car horns and headlights replace applause. Mobile phones are encouraged to live tweet and mood lighting. It’s a great concept that hopefully will extend beyond the pandemic as an alternative way to see West End performers. Layton Williams (from Everyone’s Talking About Jamie), Shan Ako (Les Miserables), Maiya Quansah Breed (Six) and Shanay Holmes (Rent) were

A matter of laughs and death: Good Grief

Another week in lockdown passes. The chances of theatres reopening anytime soon still seem remote. And so experiments with the possibilities for theatrical streams continues with Good Grief .  Theatre streams have been filmed plays, staged readings or even staged like a zoom meeting. Good Grief plays with the feeling of a staged production. Scene changes and props are moved around on camera and titles pop up on screen to set the scene.  It opens at the end of a party. It looks like it's been a big night of drinking and going on. But it turns out that it was after a wake. In between sorting out the mess from the party Cat (Sian Clifford) and Adam (Nikesh Patel) stumble around the topic of losing someone they both loved to cancer. The piece tracks Cat and Adam coming to terms with their loss, their feelings of guilt about leaving things not the way they had hoped. And they're trying to navigate the niceties and expected behaviours following a death in modern Britain. What's t

Streaming Through: Little Wars (A reading)

Is it week six or seven in this national lockdown? Lockdowns have been a chance to go on long walks through central London. It's fascinating to go through the West End and see theatres advertising shows that would have been there for a fraction of the time they’ve now been. Jennifer Saunders mugging it in Blythe Spirit comes to mind. It's as if time has stopped and it's still March 2020. But going on long walks has led to missing some online theatrical events. And so it's great to see that Little Wars has returned for another two weeks on Stream Theatre.  Set in the French Alps at the home of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas (her lover). They're hosting a party that also happens to be on the evening of the German invasion. It's a fantasy party that imagines the guests being Agatha Christie, Lillian Hellman and Dorothy Parker. There's another mysterious guest who goes by the name of Mary. As the night wears on and the drink continues to flow, sparring abou