Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka: The Trial, Metamorphosis, Amerika & more

Franz Kafka: The Trial, Metamorphosis, Amerika & more

A BBC Radio 4 full-cast drama collection

Summary

Kafka’s finest works adapted for BBC radio – plus a biographical play, three discussion pieces and the award-winning Kafka The Musical

By day Franz Kafka worked as a lawyer for an insurance company, but he spent his nights writing visionary stories and novels exploring bureaucracy, power and alienation – iconic fiction that gave the world the adjective ‘Kafkaesque’.

This BBC anthology showcases his most famous works, dealing with ordinary men caught up in impossible situations. Metamorphosis tells the tale of Gregor Samsa, who wakes one morning to find himself transformed into a giant insect. Starring Tom Basden, this Radio 4 production gives Kafka’s classic a modern twist with a darkly comic edge. In The Trial, a protagonist known only as ‘K’ is plunged into a nightmare world when he is accused of an unknown crime. Iwan Rheon leads an all-star cast including Phil Davis, Nina Wadia and Mark Heap.

Set in 1911, Kafka’s debut novel The Man Who Disappeared / Amerika features a young man from Prague, sent away to the New World after an indiscretion with a girl. Read by Carl Prekopp, Tiny Tales comprises six pieces offering an exquisite study in restlessness, while Dermot Crowley narrates the short story ‘A Country Doctor’.

Also included is Franz and Felice, a biographical play, and the Kafkaesque drama Kafka: The Musical, in which the author finds he has been cast to play himself in a show about his own life. David Tennant stars in this award-winning Radio 3 production.

Three fascinating documentary programmes round off our collection: The Forum: Kafka’s The Metamorphosis: A man turns into a monstrous bug, In Our Time: Kafka’s The Trial, and A Walk With Franz Kafka.

First published 1915 (Metamorphosis), 1916 (‘A Country Doctor’), 1925 (The Trial), 1927 (Amerika)

Cast and credits
Written by Franz Kafka

Metamorphosis
Cast: Tom Basden, Emma Sidi, Kenneth Collard, Felicity Montagu, Tim Key, Simon Ludders, Mike Bubbins, Alison Belbin, Peter Marinker

Adapted by Alan Harris
Directed by James Robinson
Music consultancy: Philip Tagney

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 24 Jun 2017

The Trial
Cast: Iwan Rheon, Phil Davis, Lee Ross, Nina Wadia, Celeste Dring, Rick Warden, Jason Barnett, Adrian Scarborough, Gwyneth Keyworth, Mark Heap

Dramatised by Ed Harris
Directed by Anne Isger
Sound: Pete Ringrose and Keith Graham
Production Co-ordinators: Sara Benaim and Daniel Bishop

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 9 Jun 2024

The Man Who Disappeared / Amerika
Cast: Divian Ladwa, Fenella Woolgar, Karl Johnson, Ed Gaughan, Charlie Anson, Ian Dunnett Jnr, Jessica Turner, Jasmine Hyde, Ewan Bailey and Anna Spearpoint.

Dramatised by Ed Harris

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 16-23 Jun 2024

Tiny Tales
Read by Carl Prekopp
Translated by Michael Hoffman
Produced by Duncan Minshull

First broadcast BBC Radio 3, 2 Nov 2011

‘A Country Doctor’
Read by Dermot Crowley
Translated by Michael Hoffman

First broadcast BBC Radio 3, 19 Nov 2009

Franz and Felice
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 11 Jun 2024

Kafka the Musical
Cast: David Tennant, David Fleeshman, Joanna Monro, Naomi Frederick, Jessica Raine, Emerald O'Hanrahan, Trevor Allan Davies, Brian Bowles

Written by Murray Gold
Music by Murray Gold
Directed by Jeremy Mortimer

First broadcast BBC Radio 3, 24 Apr 2011

The Forum: Kafka’s The Metamorphosis: A man turns into a monstrous bug
Presented by Rajan Datar
With Dr Carolin Duttlinger, Professor Alice Staskova, Dr Peter Zusi and Adrian Igoni Barrett
Readings by Mark Edel-Hunt
Violin played by David Glenister

First broadcast BBC World Service, 11 Jul 2019

In Our Time: Kafka’s The Trial
Presented by Melvyn Bragg
With Elizabeth Boa, Steve Connor and Ritchie Robertson
Produced by Luke Mulhall

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 27 Nov 2014

A Walk with Franz Kafka
Presented by Nelly Engel
With Colin Nears

First broadcast BBC Radio 3, 31 May 1974

© 2024 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. (P) 2024 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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