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Trial run takes audience on a wild ride

Broad comedy obscures serious intent of Kafka-esque Judith K

The Trial of Judith K

At the Frederic Wood Theatre until Oct. 8

Tickets: 604-822-1678, ubctheatre.universitytickets.com

Hi, Sally:

I caught opening night of your play, The Trial of Judith K, at the Freddy Wood last Thursday; saw you across a crowded lobby afterwards but didnt get to say hello.

Hey, Ms. Clark, you certainly were gutsy back in the day (1989) tackling Franz Kafkas existential novel The Trial (1925), and trying to make it relevant and palatable. Of course, freewheeling, unfounded guilt has always been with us, so adaptation of The Trial is ripe for the picking.

Changing the central character from a man to a womanan ambitious loans officeropened it up for a lot of sexy stuff with ubiquitous Ted (Scott Button). Dont remember so much horniness in Kafkas novel, especially Ted (Titorelli in the original) getting it on, doggie-style, with Mrs. Block (Kafkas Frau Grubach).

It took me some time to realize that when you wrote it, you were responding to the guilt and confusion of upwardly mobile young women moving out of the home and into the workplace. Maybe Tom Scholtes direction, emphasizing the broader comic aspects, obscured the plays more serious intent?

I think the young performers brought all their theatre student enthusiasm to the show. Alex Carrs set, with three revolves, is handsome although it means there are a lot of moving pieces to juggle. But the shifts are made interesting by Mandi Laus rock concert lighting and Emily Griffiths soundscape.

And I think Jordan Kerbs in the role of Judith K does a great job. Shes pretty much onstage and central through the whole evening a remarkable achievement for a student, really. I also liked Christine Bortolins Theadora, sprawled across the bed whilst dispensing legal advice to Judith.

You had a really appreciative audience, eh? Howls of laughter. But you know me, Sally; I just dont have the gene for appreciating broad comedy/farce and this UBC production is one crazy ride. Good thing theres something for everyone in the theatre.

See you soon.

Jo

joled@telus.net