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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

Edinburgh reflections 2011: More coverage

After four full days over five days, it was time to bid farewell to Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Fringe (and reviewing for the guys at Whatsonstage.com and The Public Reviews ). Going to the Fringe requires discipline in itself. You need to be able to plan a day of seeing shows, get to each of them in time (and not get lost). And manage to eat and drink something on the way. Sleep is always good too. Adding the requirement to write short and coherrent 200 word review of what you are seen within 24 hours and give it a star rating is really like trying to be too clever for one's own good. Of course nobody reads the reviews (even the performers in some cases). They only read how many stars it has. And the star system could be quite complicated. Not so in Edinburgh. Arriving here Johnnyfox advised of the tendency for everyone to inflate stars and described it in one of his reviews as "reviewers spunking stars up on the wall in order to be bylined on the posters." There

Edinburgh Reflections 2011: The first 36 hours

The first reflections on the shows seen to date with @Johnnyfoxlondon and a jaded boo following an awful Faulty Towers experience...   Edinboo: Reflections on a bad lunch and a fringe so far... (mp3) Meanwhile, I have published elsewhere short reviews of the following shows so far: Little Shop of Homos The Deacon Mary Blandys Gallows Tree Still Life Dreaming The Melody Blog Please Retain For Your Records More detailed coverage to follow...

Summertime: Leave London

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Summertime is a chance to be out of London, which given recent events has been quite a relief. But it hasn't all been muscle boys in tight speedos on beaches of Nice. I am also at the Edinburgh Fringe reviewing for Whatsonstage.com and The Public Reviews . It is a great opportunity to see some strange and interesting shows and meet some rather lovely and talented people. I will publish and tweet these reviews separately, along with the links to the above sites. I'm up in Edinburgh until Sunday so welcome any suggestions for things I should catch, but at the moment I am on a deadline to publish three more reviews and find a complete stranger who speaks fluent French. Now if I only had my instructions a few days ago when I was surreptitiously taking pictures on the beach... The things we do for cultural inspiration... Now back to the laptop...

Shows: Edinburgh Wrap

A midweek trip to Edinburgh with Johnnyfox for the Fringe was brief but productive. Ten shows in three days and not too many were duds. This was a bit of good luck as the awful little secret that nobody dares mention is that... most of the stuff on in Edinburgh is crap. The Fringe Festival seems to be mostly run by students and staged by students so it helps to brace yourself and expect the worst. It was also entirely possible to see more shows in three days but it is important to allow time to savour the fine food of Edinburgh as well and then use your time at the shows trying to digest it... Anyway here are the shows I caught: Sordid Lives  was performed by the Tower Theatre company and had some fine performances. It was well worth putting up with the slow first half, particularly when it came alive with a great drag performance at the end. It finishes Saturday but will be in London next month. Listen! The Improvised Musical performed by No Shoes Theatre. Apart from the fact