Last night, I went to see Steven Berkoff’s adaptation of Kafka ‘s modern fable The Trial, performed by six talented actors at The Lace Market Theatre.
The cast, who apart from the lead actor, played multiple roles and used a variety of dramatic techniques, including mime, to bring this classic text to life and show that it is just as relevant today as when it was written in the early 20th Century.
For anyone who has not read the book, The Trial tells the tale of Josef K, a bank clerk who, for some inexplicable reason, is arrested one morning. Josef has to work through the labyrinthine legal world in his attempt to find justice – but his quest is futile as he realises that he does not know why he has been arrested and that seedy corruption exists at all levels.
In keeping with the dark of theme alienation in a modern, bureaucratic world, the characters – who were all grotesque caricatures – toy with Josef’s mind until he crumbles – and one of the most memorable scenes is when all the cast members are on board a tram chanting ‘Josef K, Josef K’, echoing both the sound of the vehicle and his own paranoid existence.
All the actors put on a tremendous performance – particularly Neville Cann who played the lead role very convincingly – and despite its sinister subject matter, the play was also comic and at times quite racy.
For details on future performances visit www.lacemarkettheatre.co.uk or call (0115) 950 7201.