by Franz Kafka
a dramatic monologue by Howard Colyer.
The Brockley Jack Studio Theatre to 27 August
410 Brockley Road, London SE4 2DH
Runs 60 mins No interval.
TUICKETS: 0333 666 3366
Review: William Russell 25 August.
Kafka’s novel strikingly done
The dramatic monologue is a tricky form, but Howard Colyer, who wrote it, and Brendan O’Rourke, who performs it succeed in making the adaptation of Kafka’s most celebrated novel an engrossing hour in the theatre.
It has, in the nature of things, to be very much the essence of the book with Joseph K, the bank official arrested for no apparent reason and tried for no discernible crime, telling his story. The novel has a cast of characters, but we must rely on the teller.
The horrors of living in a society where those who govern do what they will without explanation come across clearly. O’Rourke delivers the story with skill. His Irish accent somehow makes it all the more relevant. Kafka wrote it in 1915, and he was writing about a world he knew full well – German Jews in Eastern Europe were blamed for many things by authority for which they were not responsible; the law delivered justice in strange ways not questioned. O’Rourke’s Irish tones add just that extra edge. Ireland knows all about the authority of the state during all those years of trouble.
There is a striking set by O’Rourke and Saul Reid, who also directs.
Joseph K: Brendan O’Rourke.
Director: Saul Reid.
Lighting Design: Marie Kearney.
Set Design: Brendan O’Rourke & Saul Reid.