The Old Dog Theatre’s adaptation of Kafka’s ‘The Castle’ is filled with mystery, faceless figures of authority and confusion as I understand you would expect from the notorious writer.
The play is mostly a series of events in which K (Sam Hill) attempts to overcome obstacles. K is a new arrival at a desolate village and understands that he has been commissioned as a land surveyor by the Castle. As K seeks a place to stay or tries to work out who exactly he has been commissioned by and what the commission is, he is met with endless cries in resistance from the villagers. ‘Why that’s impossible’. Despite the confusing messages K receives, he persists.
The production uniquely incorporates music, movement and puppetry. In one scene, K talks of his victory of once climbing to the top of a wall in his youth before he was told to come down again. As he narrates this, the ensemble cast skilfully operates a puppet-sized version of K to reenact the scene being described. It fantastically punctuates the moment and highlights K’s desire to set himself free from the bureaucracy around him.
We are introduced to many characters in this peculiar world and each scene inventively darts into another as K crosses a mobile doorless frame. Since the London preview, the show has become sharper and much more well-paced. This show is one that fans of Kafka will most likely enjoy more compared to people not so familiar with this work.
The Castle is running at Greenside @ Infirmary Street on Aug 6-10, 12-17 at the time of writing.