Saturday, 28 January 2012

Kafka V Kafka - review

Written by: Skipper (@Skipper2472)

Where did Skipper skip to? 
Brockley Jack Studio

Nameless Theatre present Kafka V Kafka, a play written by Howard Colyer and based on the one hundred plus page letter Kafka Jr wrote his authoritarian father. Directed by Howard Colyer the play is set within the imagination of the young Kafka as he hears the voices of his father crushing the arguments he is writing.

The script is strong; a very well written and intriguing look into the aggravated mind of a young genius (Jack Wilkie) pleading with a blunt, strict father (Gareth Pilkington). This relationship is performed with whole-hearted intensity and Wilkie steals the show with a deeply emotional performance.

Jean Apps and Ivy Corbin play opposite the two male leads as the two women of the family, who undertake their parts – however small – with constant skill and attention; it’s a shame they are used predominantly as stagehands, though.

My lasting memory of Kafka V Kafka is that of swimming even amidst the good script and talented actors. Gareth Pilkington, playing the older Kafka, starts to mime the action of swimming for a good 2 minutes and for seemingly no reason: one of numerous physical moments in the play, all of which seem to lack any textual reference. The direction simply fails to make any sense in places, often leaving the audience members completely baffled.  The soundtrack took classical music and presented it in a completely unique way, which was way overused and although atmospheric at the start, it became too much too quick. Overall Kafka V Kafka is a mixed bag: good performances and a good script, both of which are over shadowed by bewildering direction and a complete lack of originality. It’s a shame as the potential is there in spades – which were unfortunately used to pile the large heap of dirt at the back of the stage. 

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