Kafka's Dick  
Kafka's Dick

by Alan Bennett

Directed by James McKendrick

Evenings at 7.30
Tuesday 26th - Saturday 30th June
Matinée at 3.00
Saturday 30th June

The Tower Theatre performing Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Highgate


Bennett's wickedly funny take on our obsession with celebrity and how it can eclipse even the greatest artistic achievements.

It asks - if we had the opportunity to quiz one of the most influential writers of the last century, would we want to better understand his work or instead try to establish the veracity of the theory that he was lacking in the trouser department?

The play transports Kafka and his friend Max Brod - who is remembered, when he is remembered at all, for reneging on his promise to destroy all of Kafka's works in the event of his death - from 1919 Prague to the 1980s suburban semi (sic) of Sydney and Linda.

Sydney, like Kafka, is an insurance clerk and also a keen amateur biographer of the enigmatic Czech - his interest lying not in the fiction that turned his subject's name into an adjective, but in the salacious detail of his private life.

Add to the mix Sydney's elderly father - who is convinced that an encyclopaedic knowledge of Kafka is the only thing that can keep him out of a care home - and Kafka's famously bullying father joining the action to re-write his allotted role in literary history, and you have a recipe for a farcical and hilarious piece of theatre.




Cast List

Kafka
: Jacob Trenerry
Brod : Colin Guthrie
Linda : Joanna Coulton
Sydney : Matthew Ibbotson
Father : Peter Novis
Hermann K : John Chapman

 

Production Team

Director : James McKendrick
Set Design : Phillip Ley
Costume Design : Lynda Twidale
Sound Design : Laurence Tuerk
Stage Manager : Ann Watchorn
Assistant Director : Rachel Bothamley
ASM : Katy Quigley
Sound Operator : Kaushal Ginge



Jacob Trenerry is originally from Southampton he trained at the Poor School and City Lit. He has performed in new writing on the London fringe and as a member of Tower Theatre; credits include Mojo, Don Juan in Soho, Brighton Beach Scumbags and The Vortex. Jacob is also a member of Network Theatre and performances there include Playhouse Creatures, Collaborators and The Provoked Wife. In his spare time Jacob is a keen runner and club tennis player.
 
Colin Guthrie has acted, directed and musical directed for many Tower shows since joining in 1985. in 2006. Musical directing credits include The Return of the Marionettes, Telstar, Paradise (a rock 'n' roll fable) and The Producers, which won the coveted Minack Theatre Trophy in 2014. Colin has also composed music for many Tower shows, including David Copperfield, Lark Rise, Frankenstein and, most recently, 1984. Acting credits include William Cain in Her Naked Skin and Ian in Shining City and directing credits include The Voysey Inheritance, as well as the last play produced at the Tower's old home, Strangers on a Train.

Joanna Coulton is thrilled to be in her first production with the Tower Theatre. Prior to this she performed with Network Theatre Company in a number of productions including The Collaborators and Her Naked Skin and made her London debut in Namashkar's production of The Infinite Line between Dating and Dying. Other acting credits include The Trial, Much Ado About Nothing and Little Women. She has produced several plays including The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) and Shakers. She is delighted to be back treading the boards.
 
Matthew Ibbotson is excited to take part in his first Tower Theatre show, having very recently joined the acting company. He studied Drama at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, appearing in work by Chekov, Strindberg and Sophocles, before become a very active member of local musical and dramatic groups in Essex. Matthew now lives locally to the new Tower Theatre premises and is looking forward to contributing to this new era for the company.
Peter Novis has been with the Tower since 1988. Favourite roles include Herman Glogauer in Once in a Lifetime; the Dada in Entertaining Mr Sloane; several parts in the annual Tower Shakespeare productions in Paris; an Ugly Sister in Cinderella; and Mr Dick in David Copperfield. He was most recently seen as De Lacey in Frankenstein. He has also directed for the Tower in London, Paris and Cornwall.
 
By day John Chapman works as a freelance education consultant, writer and copy editor. Prior to this he worked at the "chalkface" for rather longer than he cares to remember. John first took to the stage as a schoolboy pretending to be a Latin frog. Decades later he is surprised to discover that he is just shy of his 150th production. Favourite acting roles along the way have been Hector in The History Boys, Norman in The Norman Conquests, Felix in Humble Boy and Mr Micawber in David Copperfield. Most memorable of all was when he got to play Bottom (A Midsummer Night's Dream) at the Barbican and in Stratford upon Avon in Tower Theatre's collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2016. Best directing jobs have been with The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Lord of The Flies, Glorious! and the ten works of Alan Ayckbourn which he has steered to a successful conclusion. He has always been interested in the world of drama and in 2004 served as a panellist on the Olivier Awards, seeing a mammoth 70 productions in one year. He is currently a theatre reviewer for Sardines magazine.
James McKendrick has been a Tower Theatre Company Member since 2013 and has acted in six productions, the most recent as Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing. He is very excited to be directing for Tower for the first time and comes to this production straight from directing the critically acclaimed Work Makes You Free, which garnered several five and four star reviews and was lauded as a "highlight of the Vault Festival 2018" (Fringe Guru). He has also directed a trio of Jim Cartwright plays - Road, Two and Bed - and Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off.