Purple flowers in front of the chapel doors

Canal House Garden Play 2021: Joseph K

The Master, some fellows, staff and students were delighted this weekend to watch the annual Canal House Garden Play, the first to be held since 2019.

Despite having to rehearse and perform in extremely challenging circumstances, adhering at all times to the nationally set Covid rules on amateur performance, the student cast and crew pulled off a superb performance of Joseph K, a darkly comic stage adaptation by comedian Tom Basden of The Trial, relocating Kafka's classic novel to 21st-century London.

On his thirtieth birthday, Joseph K has his sushi delivery intercepted by two unidentified men who inform him he is under arrest. Soon, he's lost all his Boots Card points and a strange man starts following him to his office. He has no idea what he's done wrong but he's determined to clear his name.

As he tries to make sense of his situation and to confront those who threaten his freedom, Joseph is thrown headlong into a fight against an invisible and illogical law.

As the Master noted in her introductory remarks, "the pleasure derived from the show this year has undoubtedly been enhanced by the year that precedes it, a year in which so much of life has been so wretchedly curtailed. And this joy has also been infectious. Seeing the Joseph K poster up around college as a reminder of things happening in the real world has been encouraging for all; and, for those of us in Canal House, hearing the sounds of rehearsal wafting in from the garden has been a heartening reminder of the world that is returning, one incremental step at a time". 

More information about the Canal House performance, including cast and crew details, can be found via the online programme.

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A group of people watching actors perform outside in a garden