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Kafka

Visitor-with-'For-Science'-by-Jenny-Holz
Finborough Theatre

6: Earl’s Court

Finborough Arms, 118 Finborough Rd, London SW10 9ED, UK

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Founded in 1980, the multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre, led by Artistic Director Neil McPherson, presents plays and music theatre, concentrated exclusively on thought provoking text-based new writing, as well as rediscovering genuinely neglected works from the 19th and 20th centuries. During KCAW, we will be showing Kafka, a one-man show commemorating the life of the great writer on the centenary of his death.

‘We should be interested only in writing that bites and stings. If writing doesn’t whack us and wake us up, why bother with it?’

 

Franz Kafka died in June 1924, one hundred years ago.

 

To commemorate his centenary, Kafka, written and performed by Jack Klaff, receives its first production in over 30 years at the multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre, for a four week limited season. Kafka was buried in Prague on 11 June 1924, and this production opens 100 years later to the day on Tuesday, 11 June 2024 (Press Nights: Thursday, 13 June and Friday, 14 June 2024 at 7.30pm).

Franz Kafka – even more than James Joyce – is still the presiding genius of experimental storytelling in the West.

 

A hundred years on from his terrible death at the age of just 40, Kafka remains the voice of the outsider and the disempowered – struggling between the agony of solitude and the pains of intimacy, isolated in the big city and in the world, whilst never quite forgetting the mordant humour of existence.

Kafka himself presented an actor friend of his in Prague in a series of theatrical one man shows. Inspired by this knowledge, multi-award-winning writer and performer Jack Klaff created his internationally acclaimed solo evocation of Kafka’s life, works and times. Featuring a tremendous array of indelible characters from Kafka’s unmatchable imagination, drawing on all of Kafka’s works including Metamorphosis, The Trial, Amerika, The Castle, and his letters, diaries, and fragments, Jack Klaff also impersonates a star-studded cast of Kafka’s friends, lovers, fans and commentators, including – amongst many others – Alan Bennett, Bertolt Brecht, Max Brod, Albert Camus, Anthony Perkins, Orson Welles, Melvyn Bragg, Ben E King, Harold Pinter, David Baddiel, Samuel Beckett, and Albert Einstein. And the many Kafka ‘scholars and intellectuals’ whose pomposity and pretension are satirised without mercy.

 

In 75 minutes within an empty space, this bracing, off-kilter, always-surprising show recreates the life, work and times of a unique human being with a unique mind. Standing ‘head outwards on this spinning planet’. Just like everyone else. Like all of us.

 

Kafka premiered in 1983 at the Cheltenham Literary Festival to commemorate the centenary of Kafka’s birth. It was then presented at Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms, Australia’s Perth Festival, Prague’s Culture Club and London’s Bloomsbury Theatre. Radio and television versions were broadcast in Australia, the Czech Republic, the United States and the UK. It was last seen as part of a Jack Klaff Retrospective at the Riverside Studios in 1994, and is now specially revived for the centenary of Kafka’s death.

When:

Tue-Sat 7:30, Sat & Sun 3pm, Mon Closed

Admission

£23 standard, £20 concession

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