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A little less conversation: After Sex @Arcolatheatre

According to research, millennials in rich countries are having sex less these days. But they were prepared to talk more about it. So, it is no surprise to see a story about what happens when a series of no-strings-attached encounters start to become attachments. And the conversations arising from it. Such is the premise of After Sex, Siofra Dromgoole’s two-hander of the conversations afterwards. It’s not particularly sexy or erotic, and the snappy pacing and short scenes sometimes make you wish they stayed longer to finish the conversation. Nevertheless, it is still a funny and, at times, bittersweet picture of single lives in the big city. It’s currently playing at the Arcola Theatre .  He is bi and works for her in an office job. She is neither ready for a commitment nor to let the office know what’s happening. He isn’t prepared to tell his mum there’s someone special in his life. He doesn’t speak to his dad, so his mum is his world. It’s a perfect relationship/arrangement. Or so it

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 consisted of office-based work with an insurance company interspersed with various affairs with women, prostitutes and pornography. The debates about the meaning behind his writing, his hang-ups and his health continue, but this only makes the man all things to everyone. Naturally, this makes the man ideal for some form of theatrical tribute. 

Klaff first performed this piece to commemorate the centenary of his birth. When your subject has a short but renowned life, it also allows you to play him again forty years later to celebrate the centenary of his death. The passing of time has yielded new insights into man, new technology and futures that he may have predicted. And so, it can all go into the show, making the piece's running time challenging to predict. 

Klaff starts the show by shushing the audience and then moves between various characters through free association, logic, and a dash of bloody-mindedness. It’s never dull, partly because Klaff’s energetic manner and booming voice won’t let your mind wander. 

Directed by Colin Watkeys and devised, written and performed by Jack Klaff, Kafka is at the Finborough Theatre until 6 July.


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