Harpooned Productions presently is in pre-production of Kafka’s Tattoo.
Inspired and adapted from Franz Kafka’s short story In the Penal Colony.
Kafka’s early 20th century vision of torture as the shadow of humanity’s legacy of indifference ….the “machine” which tattoos the condemned victim in a macabre artistic calligraphy. The mesmerized officer in charge is enamored with his sense of protocol, order and beauty of the machine and worshiping of the original inventor, the deceased Commandant. Witnessed and questioned by the Explorer an envoy of the new regime and new Commandant.
All of this connected in music, banter and delight both dark and light by the Master of Ceremony who weaves in and out as commentator, mechanical wiz, spirit of the machine. One who connects the dots as a witness to the torture. The dark gallows humor enlivened by the giant scale of the “Apparatus.”
Kafka’s Tattoo is a theatrical/cabaret of horror and dark humor set in a pliable time period at some point after the turn of the 20th Century, but pertinent to all of human history and all of human future. Patrick Doyle has created a dramatic presentation has infused it with a steampunk impetus that defies time and geography. Kafka’s 1919 short story In the Penal Colony was inspired by the depredations of World War One and explores incarceration and capital punishment with an intensity that mirrors our nightly news on television, but Patrick’s treatment of these issues leans to the universal rather than to the political.