THE TRIAL – Young Vic

In London theatre, Plays, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

The auditorium is a coliseum, with a tremendous conveyor belt slicing it in half, flappy black curtains at either end. K wakes with strange agents at his door. He’s arrested. But what on earth are his crimes? Shrugs and evasion are the reply. It’s a frustrating, but gripping , pencil pushers, forms, magistrates, hookers and lawyers curdling into madness. Scenery, furniture and people are flung down the wooden and Guantanamo-orange stage with fine precision. Trials “build up” K is told early on. The only time the conveyer reverses is to take him to his death.

View Post

THE TRIAL – Young Vic

In London theatre, Plays, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

If I have a prediction about The Trial at the Young Vic, it’s that every reviewer will mention the conveyor belt and three out of five of them link it to The Generation Game. The auditorium has been gutted and re-built with stacks of ‘juror’ seating in plywood encasements either side two moving rubber pavements surmounted by a massive orange-painted box with an equally massive and probably symbolic keyhole cut in it. At least you won’t recognise it as the same space in which the same director gave us Annie Get Your Gun seen through a letterbox.

View Post

KAFKA’S MONKEY – HOME, Manchester

In Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Kristy StottLeave a Comment

There are not many performers who could accomplish what Kathryn Hunter has achieved in this version of Kafka’s A Report to The Academy, interpreted for the stage by Colin Teevan and masterfully directed by Walter Meierjohann – her transformation to a monkey is beyond physically impressive. Hunter is wholly mesmerising throughout the performance- from the top of her jaunty bowler hat right down to the tips of her crooked fingers when she extends her hand to greet. She holds a command over the language and projects it with a rich and expressive tone of voice and incredible physicality. From the moment that we first see her shuffle across the stage, her body depicts a bewildered beast trapped halfway between ape and human. Hunter performs with wit and precision – furrowing her brow, her arms swinging and contorting uncomfortably and her loping gait – every sinew of her body works to create an entity trapped between the two different states of being. Startled by the world, she exhales heavily through her nostrils admitting that questioning freedom “leads to the most profound disillusionment”.