In the play, Austrian writer Franz Kafka and six of his characters act and re-enact pasts and presents that blur their separate realities. With frenzied attempts to create and destroy, they lead the audience through a series of theatrical worlds in the hope of writing themselves a future.
Using text, physical score and audiovisual material, the play weaves together the lives and hopes of Kafka and his characters into an entertaining piece of choreographic theatre.
Virtually unknown during his lifetime, the works of Kafka have since been recognised as symbolising modern man’s anxiety-ridden and grotesque alienation in an unintelligible, hostile, or indifferent world.
Dr Farrow says she wanted to create a play that asked, “What would happen if Kafka was living in the 21st century? And how would his characters cope in a world characterised by distraction?” She says that young people in particular responded well to her play.
“They absolutely understood it.”
After Kafka has several Massey connections. Director Ryan Hartigan tutors drama at Massey, as does Susan Simcock, who directed the first show in 2003, for the Festival of New Arts at Palmerston North.
Dr Farrow is now working on a piece about French painter Paul Gauguin. “I’m drawn to questers, people who ask the painful questions of life.”
After a sell-out season at the Wellington Fringe Festival last month After Kafka was performed in Palmerston North on 3 March. It was the first show in the Arts on Wednesday ‘Best of the Festival’ programme. Arts on Wednesday performances run throughout the year, and are held at 12:30pm, at the Auditorium, Old Main Building at the Turitea site.
After Kafka received favourable reviews after its Wellington season, with the Dominion Post calling it impressive and praising its production values.