KingsWu Hsing-kuo’s very personal spin on Kafka’s iconic tale forgets to let the audience into his private dreamWu Hsing-kuo’s one-man King Lear, employing Peking Opera traditions, was admired for its virtuosity at Edinburgh in 2011. Now he turns his attention to Kafka’s famous story about Gregor Samsa, the travelling salesman who wakes up one morning and finds himself transformed into a giant cockroach. The bug is rather impressively revolting, with luminous green eyes, pink plumes and long feelers.But in reality this one-man show is not that interested in telling Kafka’s story, which over the years has had outstanding stagings, from Steven Berkoff’s seminal version to the recent Lyric production in which Gregor’s story became a parable about the rise of fascism and the coming Holocaust. This is a riff on the novella’s themes of loneliness and alienation, but also on the life and work of Kafka, and Wu’s own obsessions as an artist. “This production is emphatically personal: this is my Kafka, and Wu Hsing-kuo’s metamorphosis!” he declares in the programme.Which is precisely the problem. It’s so much Wu’s personal vision – he directs, writes and acts – that he forgets to allow the audience in. At times it resembles …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books