Kafka’s Monkey is Based on A Report to an Academy by Franz Kafka

The 2009 sell-out production featuring Olivier Award winner Kathryn Hunter was a huge critical success and embarked on a hit world tour in 2010/2011.

Brutally imprisoned and desperate to escape, the ape-man reveals his rise through the ranks of the beasts to become a master of the ‘civilised world’ – a walking, talking, spitting, smoking, hard-drinking man of the stage. A witty, heart-rending and ironic tale of forced assimilation into an alien culture, Kafka’s Monkey places a startling mirror in front of a modern day audience.

The ape is played by Complicite founding member, Kathryn Hunter (Peter Brook’s Fragments, National Theatre’s The Visit, Mike Leigh’s All or Nothing, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix).

This production, directed by Walter Meierjohann, was captured by Digital Theatre live at London’s Royal Court Theatre.

CAST INCLUDES: Kathryn Hunter


‘Extraordinary… Its humour and pathos [is] brilliantly handled by Hunter.’

Manchester Evening News

‘ Kathryn Hunter manages to make every single aspect of Kafka’s original story leap from the page and come to life with an absorbing, physically superb and most poignant performance.’

The Public Reviews

‘★★★★★ Startling, moving and very funny. Testament to the fact that the universal themes of survival and questions of humanity translate across the globe.;

Northern Soul

‘Darkly funny, pertinent, and well worth seeing for one of the best physically-driven monologue performances on the stage.’

Creative Tourist

“A remarkable performance from a really great actor… It’s always worth spending 55 minutes of your time in the company of Kathryn Hunter.”

British Theatre Guide

“Kathryn Hunter’s performance is absolutely breathtaking and mesmerising. You cannot take your eyes off her… Definitely not to be missed.”

Entertainment Manchester

“Captivating… A thrilling portrayal. Engaging, thought-provoking, sinister, amusing… Leaves an indelible impression of having seen a mature talent hard at work. Another indicator that HOME, and its artistic director Walter Meierjohann, are heading in a determinedly-different theatrical direction.”

Lancashire Evening Post

“I was mesmerised by Kathryn, I was entertained and I laughed… Some shows make much of women playing male roles but in this case I can’t help but feel a male monkey tops the lot.” 

The Good Review

“Kathryn Hunter delivers a remarkable performance… Based on this show, it seems safe to say that we can look forward to more challenging, thought-provoking, and above all high-quality and entertaining productions at Manchester’s new flagship venue.”

Plays To See

“Masterfully directed by Walter Meierjohann… Hunter is wholly mesmerising throughout the performance. If there is anything that you need to see at the theatre this summer, Kafka’s Monkey is that.”

Upstaged Manchester

“Hunter has the ability to convey character through movement in a way that Charlie Chaplin might have doffed his hat to… There are some great moments of humour throughout the performance. The show lasts just under an hour but it leaves us with more food for thought than many three-act dramas with a large cast of characters.”

Weekend Notes

“Kathryn Hunter is astonishing… A one-woman show in which the remarkable talent of Kathryn Hunter is slap-bang in the spotlight for almost an hour… The material is thought-provoking and timeless, and the content is both sad and uplifting, and along the way also laugh-out-loud funny. Everyone should see this.”

Steve Stratford Reviews

“Extraordinary… Make no mistake, this is a tour de force of the actor’s art.”

Bouquets and Brickbats




WRITER : Franz Kafka
Director : Walter Meierjohann
SCREEN DIRECTOR : Robert Delamere
ADAPTED BY : Colin Teevan
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