Krystian Lupa The Trial based on the novel by Franz Kafka


In Poland, where the conservative powers that be continue to lead the country down increasingly kafkaesque avenues, the director Krystian Lupa, no newcomer to German-language authors, tackles the work of Franz Kafka for the first time. He brings us this adaptation of The Trial, his inimitable touch in tact.

No newcomer to German-language authors, dramaturges and novelists alike, notably Thomas Bernhard - as we bore witness to at the Festival d’Automne two years ago with three productions -, this year’s Festival sees Krystian Lupa tackling the work of Franz Kafka for the first time. And this is exactly what he did. After adapting The Trial for the Théâtre Polski troupe in Warsaw, he began rehearsals in the spring of 2015. Proceedings, however, came to a brutal halt with the nomination of a new director more sympathetic to the concerns of the ultra-conservative government in Warsaw. Propped up by the “Rights and Justice” party, its nationalist vision of theatre spelt trouble for Krystian Lupa. With help and support from several theatres in Warsaw and abroad, he was finally able to get back to work on the show. His version of The Trial still bears the scars. The Trial is an unfinished work. Krystian Lupa contents himself with this, and brings to the stage Felicia, Franz Kafka’s fiancée, and his friend Max Brod, whom Kafka ordered to burn his works on his death. Once his friend had passed away, Max Brod burned nothing whatsoever. Which explains why we are able to read The Trial, and now see Krystian Lupa’s version of it, in his increasingly kafkaesque country.
Running time : 4h30 (including intervals)
Performed in Polish, with French subtitles