Kathryn Hunter, an actress best known for Shakespeare roles such as Cleopatra and a female King Lear, is cast as an ape in ``Kafka's Monkey.'' The play is coming to the end of its run at London's Young Vic theater. Photograph: Keith Pattison/ Young Vic via Bloomberg.
It’s your last chance to see an ape find his feet as a human in London this weekend. Kathryn Hunter plays the part of Red Peter, a chimpanzee that exchanges a Gold Coast cage for the European music-hall stage and finds it just as constricting.
The star of “Kafka’s Monkey” starts imitating his captors and is obviously more intelligent than them. Peter offers bananas to the audience and checks them for fleas. The fun turns sour as the ape’s eloquence and frustration grow. Hunter, who has crossed genders with roles such as King Lear and Cleopatra, this time hangs off ladders and dejectedly heads for the exit in a heartbreaking farewell.
Hunter’s energy drives Colin Teevan’s 45-minute adaption of Franz Kafka’s short story “A Report to an Academy,” now finishing its second run at the Young Vic’s small Maria studio.
Young Vic, 66 The Cut, Waterloo, SE1 8LZ. Ends Saturday June 11. Information: +44-20-7922-2922 or http://www.youngvic.org/