Thursday, 27 July 2017

Kafka and Dramaturgy: Alon Nashman @ Edfringe 2017


Theaturtle and Threshold with Richard Jordan Productions in association with The Pleasance presents

KAFKA AND SON

Adapted by Mark Cassidy and Alon Nashman from Kafka’s ‘Brief an den Vater’
Directed by Mark Cassidy
Performed by Alon Nashman

at Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh
2 – 27 August (not 15 & 16 August) at 11.40 (12.45)


At the age of 36 Franz Kafka was still living at home, a petty bureaucrat, a failed artist, a timid Jewish son. Ruling and ruining his life was his overbearing father Hermann. What to do?

Kafka wrote a 50 page letter to his father in which he reveals deep connections between his life and his fiction. Adapted from this monumental letter, Kafka and Son is a blistering, often hilarious dissection of domestic authority and a revelatory visit with one of the architects of the modern psyche.

What was the inspiration for this performance?

Franz Kafka's letter to his father is inherently
dramatic and was beaconing to be staged. It deals with an elemental and epic struggle between the artist and authority and has many resonances.

Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas?

I performed Kafka and Son in Turkey this past April, weeks before the national referendum which installed Erdogan as unfettered dictator. Our post-show conversation became a rare opportunity to air people's feelings of frustration, confusion and anger, all in the guise of discussing the conflict between Kafka and his father.

How did you become interested in making performance?

This form of physical storytelling appealed to
me because it is all about a performer transforming the energy in the room... something which can only happen in living performance.

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?

Myself and director Mark Cassidy spent 2 years working on this, meeting weekly to dissect the text and explore it's implication for us and for society. And it is still being made, shifting in meaning and emphasis depending where in the world it's performed.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

I develop work slowly and carefully, plodding like the turtle. When it is ready I glide like a turtle into international waters to share this physically and musically robust theatre.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

I hope audiences experience a deep identification with both father and son, and find their hearts and allegiances overturned.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

We use every trick in the book, from sleight of hand, to dance, physical comedy, magical transitions, surprising bursts of sound, lights coming from nowhere... and some captivating acting.  


Alon Nashman is a performer, director, creator, and producer of theatre. Since graduating from the National Theatre School of Canada, Alon has worked with theatres across the country and around the world. Selected credits include: The Summoned, Much Ado About
Nothing, Forests, Scorched (Dora Award: Outstanding Production), Democracy, Remnants (Dora Award: Outstanding Production) Alias Godot (Tarragon Theatre), Hamlet, All’s Well That Ends Well, Botticelli in the Fire/Sunday in Sodom (Dora Award: Outstanding Production), Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Dora Nomination), THIS (Toronto Theatre Critic’s Award, Dora Nomination) (Canadian Stage), The Wild Duck (Soulpepper), Hedda Gabler (Volcano / Buddies in Bad Times), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Dora Award: Outstanding Production) (Birdland Theatre), Macbeth (Modern Times), This Hotel, Wedding Day at the Cromagnons (Theatre Passe Muraille), Howl (Threshold / Buddies in Bad Times)..., Talley’s
Folly
, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Resurgence), If Jesus Met Nanabush (De-ba-jeh-mu-jig Theatre), The Barber of Seville (Persephone Theatre), Easy Lenny Lazmon and the Great Western Ascension (Dora Award: Outstanding Production) (Go Chicken Go), Reading Hebron, A Short History of Night, Restitution, and Singapore (Factory Theatre), Hirsch, None is Too Many (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre), Hotel Loopy (Theatre Columbus), The Hobbit (Young People’s Theatre). Alon was a principal actor/director with the “Shakespeare and The Queen’s Men Project” at U. of Toronto, and Narrator/Storyteller in Tales of Two Cities with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.


Alon last performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in Hirsch in 2013.



Venue: Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh
Dates and Times: 2 - 27 August at 11.40 (not 15 & 16 August)
Running Time: 65 mins
Tickets: 2 – 4 August £6.00
5 – 8, 11 – 13, 18 – 20, 25 – 27 August £11 (£10)
9 - 10, 17, 23, 24 August £10 (£9)
14, 21, 22 August £9 (£8)
Box Office: 0131 556 6550


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