Alon Nashman stars in this masterpiece based on a letter writer Franz Kafka sent to his father, aiming to explore their troubled relationship. Kafka and Son delves into Kafka’s experience of being raised by a boorish and overbearing father and how that had ultimately resulted in his great, yet unexplainable paternal fear. This performance navigates Kafka’s journey to try and quantify this fear, and the results are stunning.
Nashman’s performance thoroughly dissects this troublesome authority and the impact of having such a negative influence as a father figure, referencing Kafka’s works and surmising that they were mostly informed by his father.
Nashman is outstanding in his work, able to work the room to such an extent that the audience knows something wonderful is about to unfold before the play even kicks off. He communicates the grotesque manner of Kafka’s father perfectly, characterising him down to the most minute details, from his condescending, choke of a laugh to the boisterous way his physicality would demand respect.
The set was rustic and utilised as a tool by Nashman as he told his story. Cages were present, reminiscent of Kafka’s entrapment by his father’s judgment and the terror it caused. The lighting was dramatic and well designed, aiding this performance wonderfully.
Nashman manages to speak to every audience member as if directly, and be present in a world of his own all at once. His performance is to be marvelled at: immersive, compelling and first class.
Words: Katie Mckenzie
Picture: Cylla Von Tiedemann
Kafka and Son, Pleasance Courtyard, Aug 10-27 (not 15, 16), 11.40am