After her famous falling-out with the RSC earlier this year which saw her walking out of The EnsembleTM's final run of shows, Kathryn Hunter is instead returning to the Young Vic to revive her 2009 performance as Kafka's Monkey, which I loved at the time and so I booked again. My review from then still holds true, Hunter and director Walter Meierjohann have put together an extraordinary physical performance and what struck me even more this second time was how quickly she can flip your emotions around. The phrase "turn on a sixpence" could have been invented for her, it feels like she could snap her fingers and make you go from laughter to tears and back again. Having heard me rave about Hunter, Andy wasn't disappointed and was joining the chorus of praise himself, talking about her facial expressions and amazing physical contortions that bring to life so specific a character as an ape who's turned himself into a man. Andy also said he'd never seen such an instant, spontaneous standing ovation before. Any "actors to see on stage before you die" list that doesn't include Kathryn Hunter is, frankly, incomplete - and surely this is the show to see her in.
Kafka's Monkey by Colin Teevan, based on "A Report To An Academy" by Franz Kafka, is booking until the 11th of June at the Young Vic's Maria.