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The Trial - a site specific Kafka show in Shoreditch

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

RETZ (Felix Mortimer, Daisy Cooper and Joshua Nawras) is presenting The Trial, a one-on-one, immersive, site specific experience following Joseph K’s journey over multiple venues, and performed in two parts.

Part One starts at Shoreditch Town Hall, EC1 and runs from March 5 to April 27; with Part Two: The Mill Co. Project taking place at the Rose Lipman Community Centre, N1 from April 2 to April 27, 2013.

This immersive, large scale, interactive story sees audience members follow Joseph K through the nooks and crannies of atmospheric East London settings as he comes to terms with his mysterious arrest.

Through one-on-one encounters, the complex reality of Joseph’s situation emerges, culminating in a visit to the Department, a crumbling regime with a dark secret at its centre, provoking questions on the true value of identity, and how far we should go to defend it.

At the end of Part One, audience members make an appointment to continue their experience in Part Two at The Trial itself, with an atmosphere inspired by Kafka’s short story In The Penal Colony.

Updating Kafka’s view that information is power, RETZ explore the value and preservation of identity in the internet era, when it can be easily bought, cloned or stolen.

Published in 1925, Franz Kafka’s The Trial tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed to neither him nor the reader.

RETZ Artistic Director Felix Mortimer said: ”Kafka’s work has a vital relevance in 2013. Combining The Trial and In the Penal Colony we want to question the faith we put in ourselves, others and the systems we create. Kafka’s world’s, as opposed to Orwell or Huxley, places the individual at their heart, therefore it was natural to us in our production to cast you as its protagonist.”

Felix Mortimer directs a cast that includes Ewan Benfield, Bill Bingham, Josie Bloom, Victoria Broom, Olivette Cole Wilson, Sam Dent, Silvanna Maimone, Nic Lamont, Myles Nichol and a further thirty supporting performers.

In 2012, RETZ serialised Shakespeare’s The Tempest in an East London shop over six months. Audience members returned each month to visit a different part of the magical island, eventually sailing away with Prospero back to his dukedom.

The Trial is supported by the Sky Arts Futures Fund.

The Trial is suitable for ages 16+.

Running Time: Approximately 1 hour (each Part).

Part 1: Starting at Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, London, EC1V 9LT. Slots between 4pm (2pm on Sat) and 8pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Tuesday to Friday at 4pm to 7.40pm (start times at 20 minute intervals), Saturday at 2pm to 7.40pm.

Part 2/The Mill Co. Project: Rose Lipman Community Centre, 43 Downham Road, London, N1 5SQ. Slots between 6pm and 9pm Tuesday to Saturday. Appointment times to be confirmed at end of Part 1.

Tickets: £30 – available by phone on 020 7638 8891 or online at www.barbican.org.uk (there will be a £2 online booking fee, and £3.50 telephone booking fee per transaction).