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Showing posts from September, 2022

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Kafka-ish: Kafka @Finborough

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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

Romance and other theatrics: Love all @JSTheatre

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As part of its Temptation Season, Jermyn Street Theatre serves up a civilised and biting farce with Love All. Full of incisive observations about the roles and expectations for women at the time while managing to be a fun and silly romp spanning Venice and London, it is a both a guilty pleasure and a lost gem currently playing at the Jermyn Street Theatre .  Written by Dorothy L Sayers, better known for her detective novels, there is an obsessive attention to detail in the piece. You could miss something crucial to the plot or a laugh later on if you're not paying attention.  The premise is that Lydia Hillington (Emily Barber), a famous London stage actress, has given up the stage to elope with a famous novelist Godfrey Daybrook (Alan Cox). But after eighteen months of living in a hotel on the Grand Canal, all is not well. A chance meeting with a producer inspires her to escape to London to audition for a role an exciting new playwright is casting (Leah Whitaker). Meanwhile, Daybro

Swimming upstream: Hero & Leander, Or, I Love You, But Everything's Underwater @southbankcentre

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Jack Dean & Company landed at the Southbank Centre's Purcell Room for one day with their gig-theatre retelling of the Greek myth Hero & Leander. Songs that mix folk, country, electronica and the odd sea shanty tell the story of the tragedy of Hero and Leander.  In this version of the tale, Hero and Leander are from two towns but meet at a dance and continue to see each other. But their towns are separated by a narrow strait, and when the ships stop sailing between the towns due to a conflict, Leander swims across the strait to meet Hero, guided by the light of the lighthouse where she lives. And being a tragedy, this doesn't end well.   The staging is simple, with just the musicians on stage. Jack Dean and Siân Keen are engaging as the ill-fated lovers and various other characters in the story. It's incredibly inventive and evocative with its fusion of musical styles and sensibilities.  The storytelling is brisk and sometimes feels like it could benefit from expans