Kafka’s A Report to an Academy
12th to 17th August
There is little doubt Kafka was a fine writer. Time has certainly been testament to this. You can see his work transferred to stage and screen all over the world. But I couldn’t help but feel this particular piece lost a little in translation. The script seemed to me to be clunky and over wordy. I know this may be viewed as sacrilege in many eyes but I can’t help having an opinion. The sole actor, it was a one man show, did his best to imbue the source material with life and was largely successful. If a touch over the top in places.
The story was as interesting and thought provoking as you’d expect from Kafka with the familiar subjects of what it means to be human, anthropomorphism and body dis-morphia all covered. Eminently visualised by the actor slowly shedding off his animal skin to become human. The naked ape. With a typically dark twist at the end. There were also moments of humour, twisted as they were, to lighten the heavy philosophical load. But all in all I believe this piece would have perhaps gone down better fifty or a hundred years ago when the text was a tad more vital. Not to say that these subjects aren’t eternal but I believe there have been more recent plays and films which have breached them more relevantly. Still, if you’re a fan of Kafka and guys in gorilla suits this may be the play for you. Personally I’ll stick with King Kong. THREE STARS
Reviewer – Steven Vickers