At age 36 Franz Kafka was still living at home, a petty bureaucrat, a failed artist, a timid Jewish son. Ruling and ruining his life was his overbearing father, Hermann. Kafka wrote a letter to his father in which he reveals deep connections between his life and his fiction. As he confesses, "All my writing was about you". Adapted from this monumental (and undelivered) letter, Kafka and Son is a blistering, often hilarious, dissection of domestic authority, starring Canadian actor Alon Nashman. Kafka and Son has toured Europe and now it returns to the UK as part of JW3’s Kafka Festival, 24 to 25 October. Judi Herman caught up with Alon Nashman when he performed his acclaimed one-man play in The Hague and after the performance he spoke to her for JR OutLoud.
Alon Nashman performs Kafka and Son on Saturday 24 October. 8pm. £10-£15. JW3, 341-351 Finchley Rd, NW3 6ET; 020 7433 8988. jw3.org.uk
Read Alon Nashman on his Kafka - along with writer/director/performer Steven Berkoff and novelist and critic Gabriel Josipovici - in the October 2015 issue of Jewish Renaissance.
Hear writer/director Julia Pascal speaking to JR's arts editor Judi Herman about her play and her reasons for writing it – and for reviving it now. (NB: Thanks to the tube strike this interview was recorded via Skype and is not of the finest quality, but hopefully rewards the patient and persistent listener!)
Crossing Jerusalem runs until Saturday 29 August. 7.45pm & 3.15pm. £12.50-£18. Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, N4 3JP; 020 7870 6876. parktheatre.co.uk
Read Judi Herman's review on the JR blog
In 1926, shoemaker Ab Solomons drew a doodle on the wage-packet he gave to his wife Celie. Over the next 50-odd years Ab drew over 3,000. This extraordinary chronicle of East London Jewish life was originally brought to life by Ab's great-nephew and storyteller Danny Braverman in 2013 and continues to run successfully throughout theatres today.
Wot? No Fish!! runs Wednesday 5-Sunday 9 August & Wednesday 12-Sunday 16 August. 7.30pm. £17. Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, SE18XX; 020 7960 4200. southbankcentre.co.uk