The Trapeze Artist

The Trapeze Artist is a new play by Paul Bilic opening at Tara arts Theatre Studio on April 22 and running on April 22, 24, 28, 30, May 2, 4, 6, 8 at 7.30. It tells the story of how Kafka’s manuscripts ended up in Oxford, which is where they are housed to this day. At Kafka’s death in 1924 his close friend Max Brod was supposed to burn all his remaining manuscripts, but Brod disobeyed Kafka’s request and published them. Brod took the manucripts with him when he fled Prague on the final train before the Nazis moved in. He kept them in Palestine until 1956 when Marianna Steiner, Kafka’s niece, returned them to Europe where she had them housed in a bank vault in Zurich. A chance encounter between Michael Steiner, Marianna’s son and a student at Oxford, and Malcolm Pasley, an Oxford German don, in 1961 meant that Pasley contacted Marianna Steiner and was given permission to drive the manuscripts across the alps and house them at the Bodleian library Oxford.

‘The Trapeze artist’ , directed by Hannah Pantin, takes this story and splices it in with ‘ First Suffering’ one of Kafka’s shorter fictions, to produce an original and physical piece of theatre. On April 28 Michael Steiner, Kafka’s nephew now in his late 60s, will be attending the performance. For more information visit


The Journal of the Northern Renaissance ( is a new peer-reviewed, open-access online journal dedicated to the study of early modern Northern European cultural production. The journal will be alert to the full variety of early modern cultural practice, publishing articles on literature, the visual arts, philosophy, theology, political theory and the scientific technologies of the Northern Renaissance. It places a special emphasis upon interrogating the Southern European derivation of our inherited paradigms and delineating the significance of alternative cultural geographies. Although it is anticipated that attention will converge upon the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the journal is particularly open to attempts both to challenge existing periodizations of the Renaissance in the North and to establish continuities with earlier and later epochs. Continue reading