Part of Soho Playhouse's Fringe Encore Series: Adapted from a letter Kafka wrote to his dad, this solo drama is a blistering dissection of domestic authority, and a visit with one of the architects of the modern psyche.

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At the age of 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. What to do? Kafka wrote a 50-page letter to his dad in which he reveals deep connections between his life and his fiction.


Cast & Creatives (10)

Reviews (10)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

The Stage (UK)

for a previous production “It's a great performance, undoubtedly. But there's nothing here to hold the audience's attention, no journey for them to go on, no jeopardy, no risk, no reward. The meticulous research behind it is evident, Nashman's Kafka is rich and detailed, and Cassidy's production is thoroughly polished, but ‘Kafka and Son’ has one crippling, fundamental flaw: it's dramatically dry as a bone. It's resolutely, unyieldingly, purgatorially dull.” Full Review

British Theatre Guide

for a previous production “Nashman uses a series of voices to articulate the brusque and overbearing nature of Hermann Kafka compared to the gentler nervousness of Franz and in his forthright timidity we see a great range of talent…A fragmented yet flowing narrative, often shocking, and depressingly understandable. Yet the few moments of humor, and genuine affection within the pleadings and tirades, bring out the humanity of this staggeringly well-wrought production.” Full Review

The Wee Review

for a previous production “Throughout the performance Nashman plays the role of Kafka and also his father. The performer jumps between the two with verve and menace…The evocative set design combines perfectly with the lighting design and the anxiety that Kafka expresses is heightened to a new level. During 'Kafka and Son’ we see the inspiration behind some of Kafka’s novels. The relationship he had with his father shaped his work and Nashman has presented this complex relationship with style and menace." Full Review

Three Weeks Edinburgh

for a previous production “Sole actor Alon Nashman’s mannered interpretation feels perfectly pitched – you can readily believe this neurotic, fragile man created such hapless put-upons as Gregor Samsa and Josef K. It’ll polarize, I think – an hour and change of grandiloquent prose is a tough ask for any audience, and you may struggle to stay engaged throughout the lengthier digressions – but as a portrait of a toxic, destructive relationship, it is thorough and exacting.” Full Review

Edinburgh Festivals

for a previous production “A masterpiece…This performance navigates Kafka’s journey to try and quantify this fear, and the results are stunning…Nashman is outstanding in his work, able to work the room to such an extent that the audience knows something wonderful is about to unfold before the play even kicks off…Nashman manages to speak to every audience member as if directly, and be present in a world of his own all at once. His performance is to be marveled at: immersive, compelling and first class.” Full Review

Broadway Baby

for a previous production “Perfectly staged…The show is structured excellently and Nashman holds the audience in the palm of his hand, however moments of poetic dance and movement may leave some bemused...'Kafka and Son' is not an easy watch, however, it is intense, intimate, moving and unmissable if you’re a fan of the author’s work. The show gives an insight into his writing that perhaps may not have been considered, while being performed powerfully well." Full Review

SG Fringe

for a previous production "Alon Nashman here allows us a dramatic insight into what the personal life was like for Franz Kafka...The father figure is presented as fierce, overwhelming but also having his weaknesses, his desires, and his hopes for his son. Alon Nashman manages to let us see him as a complex human being...This is a piece of acting of real intensity, with humor and with pathos...It is full of piercing insights and ideas, and is extremely well worth catching." Full Review

My View

for a previous production "It’s an intimate, horrifying and at times hilariously biting extrapolation on a father-son relationship fueled by narcissism, fear, sarcasm and one-upmanship, on the part of the father, and exacerbated by the son’s low self-esteem, physical puniness and inability to fight back. It’s a horror story told with a fierce sense of intimacy that is both riveting and disturbing. Nashman is an unbelievably fine performer...'Kafka and Son' is a defining, uncompromising piece of brilliance." Full Review

The English Theatre

for a previous production "At the first exchange between Kafka and son, the performance took on a striking new tone. Alon Nashman was transformed from the sickly, emotional Franz into the powerful, dominant Hermann bringing life to the imagined conversation...All props on the stage were used with precision and enormous impact...'Kafka and Son' is an intense study of the human condition and its limitations and deep connections." Full Review


for a previous production "If this letter, written by Kafka to his father in 1919, were read out by a motionless man on a propless stage it would be powerful enough. Performed by Alon Nashman, it is simply breathtaking...The piece is staggeringly insightful. Ideas about gratitude, guilt, power and disobedience feel fresh and contemporary. Nashman articulates the knot inside Kafka with such intensity that it becomes a visual thing." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
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