Review: BEETLEMANIA – KAFKA FOR KIDS ****

COMEDY

BEETLEMANIA – KAFKA FOR KIDS

Pleasance Dome venue 23

August 1st to 26th Not 14. 13.15

**** Four Stars

Kafka for Kids? Really? Yes, this show really does work, and it has a good deal to offer for kids who enjoy playful mystification, and for adults who enjoy a good laugh with imagination, and are maybe not too worried about having to wear an embarrassing t-shirt. (Not every adult has this experience. No fears.)

This brilliant show is created and written by Tom Parry and Russell Bolam, and stars Perrrier award winning Will Adamsdale together with Heidi Niemi, Tom Parry and Rose Roberts.

Petty officialdom makes itself felt at a few points, as Will Adamsdale is assailed very early on, and entrance money is demanded from him, the exact amount, please.

A variety of less well known Kafka stories are made use of, but relatively lightly, Stories such as Poseidon, with its opportunity for regal headgear, and The Bridge, which allows Tom Parry to become a very impressive structure. The story of the two bouncing balls that will not let their chosen subject be, where ever he may go, was a source of much fun, and a little boy just along from me had much enjoyment playing with a ball.

Things do not always happen as you might wish, or happen at all, as we see here. The story of the beetle, of Metamorphosis, is much talked about, but handled lightly, and pest control come into play.

This show may well cause people to delve more into Kafka, and may make some youngsters curious. However, it is a brilliant confection of many parts, and simply as an experience it is a delight, and all involved in its production deserve applause. The title may confuse some as to whether it is really for adults or children, but it has much to offer both, and deserves large audiences. Just plunge in.

Tony Challis