A surreal, black comedy by the master of English comedy, Alan Bennett, it was first performed in London in 1986. The play centres on the famous writer Franz Kafka and explores diverse themes such as father-son conflict, the myth of celebrity, aging and suburban neuroses.
Franz Kafka was a Jewish-Czech writer of the early 20th century. When he died in 1924, he was still relatively unknown as a writer and had retained a day job as an insurance assessor at Prague’s version of ACC. His most well-known works include ‘Metamorphosis’ and ‘The Trial’. His name is remembered in the word ‘Kafkaesque’, which is generally taken to mean an absurd, faceless bureaucracy that persecutes the ‘little guy’ seemingly without reason.
It is circa 1920 and Kafka is dying, or thinks he is. Convinced that his writing is unworthy, he persuades his friend Max Brod to promise to burn all of Kafka’s works after his death. However, Brod reneges on his promise and profits from Kafka’s posthumous name. Fast forward to modern day and Sydney, an insurance assessor, is writing a biography of his hero, Kafka.
For reasons unknown, Kafka, his father Hermann and Brod have come back to life to gatecrash Sydney’s peaceful suburban existence. Kafka’s father is unhappy about always being portrayed in the numerous biographies of Kafka as a bully to his son and he tries to convince Sydney that they had a close relationship. To force Kafka to play along with this charade, Hermann blackmails his son, threatening to reveal embarrassing details regarding the size of Kafka’s most intimate body part. Will Kafka ‘measure up’ to his overbearing father? Ultimately, Kafka is put on trial to defend his very name.
The Cast and Crew
Cast; James Locke, Anthony Hogan, Lottie Butcher, Allan Burne, Justin Rhodes and Ben Rowan.
Crew; Director Tim Papps, Production Manager Anna Allen with Corinna Bennett, Andrew Cross, Jen Pearce, Katja Romanski, Sarah Arndt, Sam Perry, Ben Haddock and Shannon Tubman.
Last updated 28 March 2016