Grid Theatre’s acclaimed staging of Red Peter, an award-nominated hit at the 2019 Camden Fringe Festival, will head back to the capital later this spring for a short run at the VAULT Festival. Book your tickets now
The stage adaptation of Franz Kafka‘s A Report to an Academy runs at The Vaults from 6 to 8 March 2020.
An ape has been captured in the jungles of West Africa and brought back to ‘civilization’ by his European captors. To escape a life of incarceration, he ‘evolves’ into a human being. Red Peter, as he is known, mimics human habits from the crew of the ship upon which he is imprisoned, masters human speech and eventually decides to embrace human society rather than languish in a zoo as an ape. He presents to an academy to give a report about his former life.
In examining the ‘forced’ evolution of an ape into a human, Kafka explores what it is to be human from an outsider’s perspective. In doing so he exposes modern man’s isolation and solitude through the mind of an ape. Red Peter’s confession about how hard it is to constantly present himself as human to the human world can be seen as a metaphor for the problems faced by the many minority communities in contemporary society, whether they define themselves by nationality, race, religion, culture, gender or sexuality.
The German novelist and short story writer published A Report to an Academy in 1917, a decade into his career and five years after he wrote arguably his most famous work, The Metamorphosis. It has been adapted many times, including Charlie Kaufman‘s 2001 film Human Nature, 1989 Edinburgh Festival hit The Greatest Ape and Colin Teevan‘s 2009 stage adaptation Kafka’s Ape, which starred Kathryn Hunter as Red Peter.
Grid Theatre first performed director Chris Yun-Ward‘s production of dramatic monologue Red Peter at the Edinburgh Festival in 2003. They revived it last summer, when it ran at the Etcetera Theatre in August as part of the Camden Fringe Festival. During that run, the intensely physical production received a host of excellent reviews with Broadway World giving it five stars and declaring that performer Denzel Barnes delivered “An outstanding performance,” while The Upcoming, in its own five star review described the production as “A thought-provoking piece” and proclaimed Barnes to be “excellent as the gifted ape.” The production was also nominated as one of four finalists in the Fringe Theatre Festival section of the Off West End Awards.
Rehearsal footage from the Camden Fringe run of Red Peter
Dancer, choreographer and actor Barnes returns for the VAULT Festival run of Red Peter. His eclectic career has seen him win an Experimental Film Award at the Dubai Dance Film Festival in 2010, reach the final of the Warsaw Zawirowania Dance International Choreographic Competition in 2014, and receive a One Dance UK/ADAD Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.
Director Chris Yun-Ward is a former member of the Korean Theatre Association who numerous lead and supporting roles in both Korean and western stage plays and musicals.
Billed as “London’s biggest, boldest and wildest arts and entertainment festival,” in 2019, VAULT Festival attracted more than 79,000 audience members to see 428 different shows staged by more than 2,000 artists.
In 2020, it runs from 28 January to 22 March 2020, with an eclectic line-up of shows including rarely told story of slavery, Sold, dance exploration of living in a foreign country Living Here?, tale of a diplomat’s brutal interrogation, The Ballerina, and one-man show about the transformation of a Ugandan child soldier, Far Gone.
Red Peter runs at Crypt – The Vaults, Leake Street, London SE1 7NN from 6 to 8 March 2020, with performances Friday to Sunday at 6pm, matinee Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are priced £11. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
About Grid Theatre
Founded in 2001 by the director Chris Yun-Ward, Grid Theatre is a multicultural theatre production company based in South London whose members have professional experience as performers, directors, choreographers and drama teachers in both Korea and the UK. One of Grid Theatre’s central aims is to explore a variety of theatrical forms from diverse cultures within its performances.