Posts

Showing posts with the label Jack Klaff

Featured Post

Eternal guilt: Dorian The Musical @SWKplay

Image
Dorian is a new musical that updates Oscar Wilde’s gothic novel from the uptight Victorian era to an undetermined period of gender fluidity and glam rock. On paper, musicalising the Picture of Dorian Gray to a period of glam rock, social media, and cheap shoes seems like a good idea. After all, Oscar Wilde’s gothic story is very adaptable. It has been the source of countless adaptations for the stage, television or movies. I was half expecting a trashy Dorian, similar to the early 1980s telemovie that shifted Dorian’s gender to a woman. This version falls into a so bad it’s good category with Anthony Perkins in a lead role, who as he ages under makeup starts to look like Andy Warhol.  And while it’s great to see a new show, a strong cast can’t compensate for such an earnest production with underpowered songs. There’s no sense of fun, and some curious staging and costume choices  -mismatched dresses, crocodile boots and furry suits - serve as a distraction. It’s currently playing at th

Kafka-ish: Kafka @Finborough

Image
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

No country for old men: The Ice Cream Boys @JSTheatre

Image
America has Trump, Britain has Boris, and South Africa had Jacob Zuma. Old men fade from power and eventually die, and no skeleton is left in the closet in the Ice Cream Boys by Gail Louw. For ninety minutes, they bitch and moan about the state of their country and the path their lives have taken. It just so happens that one of the men is Jacob Zuma, former President of South Africa. The other is Ronnie Kasrils, former Minister for Intelligence Services and critic of Zuma. It sets out in a breathtaking edge-of-your-seat way, both a historical and personal account of the struggles of the country. Full of passion and fire, it's currently playing at the Jermyn Street Theatre . The two men meet by chance in a hospital. Kasrils (Jack Klaff) is there to have a melanoma removed. Zuma (Andrew Francis) is there to have his prostate checked. They are in adjacent rooms tended to by a young nurse, Thandi, who lives in a township some distance away (Bu Kunene). For those familiar wit

Guns and roses: But It Still Goes On @Finborough

Image
Repressed homosexuality, sham marriages, vengeful lesbians and global chaos. What’s comforting about Robert Graves’s But It Still Goes On is how little things have changed since the interwar period. Well perhaps there’s less repressed homosexuality nowadays in London. Written in 1929 it’s having a belated world premiere at the Finborough Theatre until 4 August. Part comedy, part tragedy-melodrama the action focuses on the family of Cecil Tompion (Jack Klaff). A popular and hard-living writer whose children have lived in his shadow. He left their mother for a woman who gave his work better reviews. His son, Dick (Alan Cox) survived the trenches but remains haunted by a gun he used to kill a soldier. Daughter Dorothy (Rachel Pickup) is a doctor and marries Dick’s best friend David (Victor Gardener). Trouble is that David’s in love with Dick. Or should that be just dick? And when Dorothy’s friend Charlotte (Sophie Ward) isn’t in love with Dorothy she’s in love with Dick too. It’s frank de