John Gaden, Ewen Leslie, Belinda McClory star in The Trial. Photographer: Garth Oriander.


A fresh take on Kafka's The Trial*

Matthew Lutton directs a cast of seven diverse performers, including John Gaden, Ewen Leslie and Belinda McClory, in Louise Fox’s new adaptation of Franz Kafka’s novel, The Trial.

The indefinable, elusive and mysterious power of Kafka’s wit, clowning, farce and obsession with the erotic is mined to the full in Sydney Theatre Company's partnership with Malthouse Melbourne and Perth’s ThinIce.

On the morning of his 30th birthday, Joseph K (Ewen Leslie) awakes to find himself under arrest. For what, he cannot tell. By whom, he’s unsure.

Permitted to go about his daily business, he soon finds the entire world in which he travels has been infected with a bizarre implication of guilt, and the more he struggles the more he becomes wound up in ludicrous scenarios.

An amorous neighbour, a porn-peddling washer–woman and a courtroom with all the order of a barnyard seem to tempt him to madness, but throughout it all K maintains the stoic front of a man for whom it will all make sense in the end.

An absurdist provocation on the bleakness of life in a modern world, this enigmatic take of one of the classics of 20th-century literature invites the audience into the heady maze of intrigue and desire.

Matthew Lutton has worked with Sydney Theatre Company as director of 2009’s The Duel, and part 1 of The Mysteries: Genesis. Both John Gaden and Ewen Leslie were members of The STC Actors Company with memorable performances in The War of the Roses and The Serpent’s Teeth. Belinda McClory’s most recent performances for the company were in Martin Crimp’s The City and Ross Mueller’s Concussion.

Director: Matthew Lutton. Set Designer: Claude Marcos. Costume Designer: Alice Babidge. Lighting Designer: Paul Jackson. Composer: Ash Gibson Greig. Sound Designer: Kelly Ryall.

Cast: John Gaden, Peter Houghton, Ewen Leslie, Rita Kalnejais, Belinda McClory, Hamish Michael, Igor Sas.

*Based on media release issued by Sydney Theatre Company.


Malthouse Melbourne — Playing until 4 September.

Sydney Theatre Company Wharf 1 — 9 September to 16 October.

Subiaco Arts Centre, Perth — 22 to 30 October.