Pip Carter Playing the Title Role in Joseph K
The Gate Theatre
Where: Inner London
22 November 2010 WOS Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews Middle-manager Joseph K has a problem - on the evening of his 30th birthday two "volunteers" turn up instead of his sushi delivery. Not only do they tuck into his California roll - they are also there to notify him of his arrest.
An adaptation of Franz Kafka's 1925 novel
The Trial, comedian Tom Basden has written a snappy and genuinely funny script. Winner of the 2007 Edinburgh Comedy (Perrier) Award for Best Comedy Newcomer as part of four-man sketch group Cowards, Basden brings frequent collaborator Tim Key along for the ride, with Key doing a solid job of bringing the variety of role he is tasked with to life.
The cast are hard working, creating a series of well-formed and discreet scenes for Joseph (thoughtfully played by
Pip Carter) to navigate. Although the situations are increasingly frustrating, the titles character's world slowly slipping away from him with work, technology and even his Boot's club card points falling out of his grasp, what emerges is a lengthy musing on bureaucracy and the failings of modern-day customer service rather than the terrifying loss of control suggested by Kafka.
Carter brings a vunerability to the role, with an impressive performance which maintains a logic and naturalism in the face of the absurd. Mention should also be given to [Siân Brooke] who demonstrates incredible versatility. It is the constant need to be versitile which ultimately slows the piece down however, with overly-long scene changes killing the momentum of the piece. Although
Chloe Lamford's blanket set serves the piece well, it is not clever enough to quickly change between the assortment of situations the story navigates.
An unfortunately unfulfilling ending tops off what is a well put together script, given a production that is not quite slick enough.
- by Andrew Girvan Related Content
Subscribe to our free newsletter
Featured Editor's Picks
: The economic impact of Arts & Culture in the UK Infographic When Culture Secretary Maria Miller called for the arts to make their "economic case" for subsidy, t... Plays Cast: Harry Potter star in Southwark Moment, more for Branagh's Macbeth Bonnie Wright, best known for playing Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films, will make her stage d... Brief Encounter with ... The Kite Runner's Ben Turner Ben Turner stars in the stage version of the bestselling book The Kite Runner, which runs at Liverpo... Titus Andronicus (RSC) This latest production of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, to borrow from football punditry, is a p... : Britain's outdoor theatres Take Five With half-term approaching, the weather (hopefully) set to improve for the bank holiday weekend and ... West End Live returns to Trafalgar Square next month West End Live, a weekend of free entertainment from top London shows, will return to Trafalgar Squar... : 'I carry the ghost of Gregory Peck on my shoulders' Robert Sean Leonard Actor Robert Sean Leonard is currently playing Atticus Finch in Timothy Sheader's production of To K... To Kill A Mockingbird Twenty years ago, a young Robert Sean Leonard appeared on the London stage with Alan Alda in... X Factor musical titled I Can't Sing!, opens Palladium March 2014 The forthcoming X Factor musical will be called I Can't Sing! The Musical and will premiere at the L... Donmar stages Nick Payne premiere, Wesker's Roots & Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus The Donmar Warehouse has announced its new season, which features the premiere of Nick Payne's new p...