The Trial

Due to someone else’s mixup I had a couple of free tickets to see a staging of Franz Kafka’s The Trial at the Sydney Theatre Company last night.

Like the novel it was a surreal, comic, and lewd stumble through a pretty grim world. The protagonist, Josef K, awakes to find himself accused of a crime, though he never learns what that crime is or who accuses him. It starts as a silly scenario, but spirals into a nightmare world of procedures that go nowhere. Josef fights, but eventually – between erotic distractions – loses the ability to figure out how to do so.

The actors were decent, and the guy who played Josef K was really good. The revolving set was well-used. The sound effects were normally good in that they were appropriately unsettling, but seemed a bit over-the-top in a couple of spots.

The Trial isn’t fun. But it is a dark study into the seeming logical break between social organisations and the individuals in them, as well as into how people react to pressure on their regular lives. It’s bleak food for thought.


The Trial. Photo by Jeff Busby



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