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 www.tara-arts.co.uk