FRINGE '04 REVIEW: After Kafka
After Kafka - Theatre Pataphysical
Review by Jyoti
WHEN? Friday Feb 13th
through Wednesday Feb 18th, 2004; 9:30 PM show.
WHERE? Bats Theatre, 1 Kent Tce, Mt. Victoria.
HOW MUCH?: $15 waged, $12 concession and $10 Fringe Addict card holders.
Star Rating: **** 4 = Impressive
Without even starting After Kafka struck a chord of extreme drama that was sustained throughout the one hour performance. As audience members filed to their seats the stage was set with all the players striking a dramatic multileveled pose. Large paper light structures resembling internally lit carcasses hung from the rafters along with an upturned chair and suitcase both encrusted with morosely dank personal effects. The overall effect was one of an accepted, if visually unpleasant, disorder that served as a visual precursor to the performance to come.
The premise is Kafka in contemplation; frozen before the blank pages that will eventually hold the lines of 'Metamorphosis' while the other six characters engage in a series of monologues proposing scenarios of existence through which they search for meaning and Kafka's interest. This unapologetically abstract script in no way attempts to tell a tale you can tag along with. The audience is forced to construct their own interpretation of the metaphors suggested in the scenarios and therefore becomes engaged in the same process as the characters themselves: a search for meaning.
Extremely zealous performances, a discordant soundscape and reasonably physical theatrical techniques keep the audience engaged. All you need is a Kafkaesque disinterest in getting anywhere with anyone to enjoy this celebration of meaninglessness.
While I found the over dramatised characters close to insufferable people with an interest in Kafka and those amused by a zealous acknowledgement of life's pointlessness may be intrigued.