Kafka's Dick

Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich

Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich

Those familiar with Franz Kafka's work will be surprised that Alan Bennett, the quintessential Englishman, could produce a play that equals it in surrealism.

Kafka's Dick is about the writer's appendage, but more about our concern with the private lives of celebrities.

In their suburban household Sydney (David Reeves) and his wife Linda (Jenny Dewsbury) are visited by the long-dead Kafka when their suicidal pet tortoise metamorphoses into him.

Reeves looks and sounds like Alan Bennett - and even carries many of his awkward mannerisms, while Trevor Markworth effectively portrays a strong and solemn Kafka who, without breaking character, raises many laughs with just a glance.

Contrasting in every way is his father (Noel Jones), whose stereotypically Jewish character proves surprisingly recognisable as an overbearing father figure.

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Max Brod (Aso Connell), Kafka's friend/ biographer, displays the torment of friendship and love of art in a cleverly dramatic and highly comic manner.

The dialogue stumbles in places and occasionally the pace winds down, but this often laugh-out-loud funny play gives us much to consider about our society.

t Kafka's Dick runs at the Maddermarket Theatre until April 1.