Igloos, Impresarios and Kafka

Introducing a new director…




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The Finale at the Camden Fringe

This coming weekend (27th-28th August) the Camden Fringe Festival will see the premiere of a play inspired by Kafka’s ‘The Hunger Artist'; its director, Arek Spiewak, talks about the process of bringing a story to the stage:


Where did the idea come from?

Back in Spain, I was working on a first draft for a play that in the end didn’t make it to the production process. One day I sat down to write a duologue between the main character (a Poet) and his Landlord. The words just came out of me and after an hour of writing, I wasn’t sure what I was holding in my hands. I read it few times. Had no idea where should I fit it into an actual play so I decided to call it Igloo. A short play set in the abyss of time and space where the main character is unable to achieve anything that he wants to.
A few years later I ended up in London looking for a play  I could direct  with just one actor. I’d read a dozen monodramas and none of them hooked me enough so I started to search for a short story that could inspire me. I  found “The Hunger Artist” by Franz Kafka and immediately started work on staging its physical version. Unfortunately, no matter howsatisfactory the results were I was still unable to materialize the text.
I decided to write a play based on this short story and the more I wrote the more I realized the similarity between the Hunger Artist and the Poet. The Landlord and the Impresario. Igloo was chasing me through these years and thanks to the brilliant Franz Kafka I was finally able to give it a bigger meaning.


What is the objective of the play?

Every show should have one objective. To entertain. Not necessarily to make you laugh but to grab your attention and not let go until the “curtain” falls.


What is the subject of the play?
There are three main subjects:
Consumerism. In every aspect of our life we are used to taking things that we like but as soon as we find something new, shinier or more popular, we leave the old things behind. With no hesitation. We do it with food, art, clothes, relationships etc….
Fame. Our chase after it. On macro or micro scale. And what happens when it’s all gone?
Forgiveness. How do we forgive ourselves and others so we can rest in peace?


The idea for the stage design.
I believe in a minimal stage design. We should use only what is necessary and explore it as much as possible. If there is an opportunity I would like to play with the design of the audience space so they could have a more immersive experience.

Arek Spiewak

Director and Writer
Arek Spiewak trained as an actor in Spain, before working as assistant director to Theodore Stermin. After successfully staging a physical adaptation of Bukowski’s short story ‘The Most Beautiful Woman in Town’, Arek moved to London where he now directs and creates new writing.
Tickets available online from the Camden Fringe website

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