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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

It’s not where you start: Songs for A New World @St_JamesTheatre

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Twenty years after it first premiered Off-Broadway, the song-cycle / revue Songs For A New World at the St James Theatre serves as a useful introduction to composer-lyricist Jason Robert Brown’s early work. It’s initially exciting to watch four accomplished performers (mostly) handle his vocally demanding work. But the effect of 90 minutes of his music straight through makes you feel as if you are trapped in a world that is a bit repetitive. It starts out spectacularly with the opening number “The New World”, a song about starting over. And then there is a song about endings, another about loss, and another about new beginnings. By the half way point, the limitations of the music become apparent.

Revisiting in jokes and theatrical barbs: Forbidden Broadway on the West End

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It has another month to run, but Forbidden Broadway is a bit of a guilty pleasure. Full of in-jokes and send ups of shows on the West End (and Broadway) it is a lot of fun, but also a chance to see four actors wow us with their singing and comic abilities. The silliness becomes infectious to the point that the spoof of Once becomes so hysterically funny even the cast have trouble keeping it together. Christinia Bianco is off this week, but Laura Tebbutt is an equally funny impersonator - particularly of Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel. Let it blow (a parody of the enduring song Let it Go) is a particularly evening highlight.