In his unsettling eerie, existentialist tale, Kafka original's novel presents the story of a man, known only as Joseph K, who is prosecuted by an inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime never revealed to him or the audience. During both Synetic's play and the novel it was based on, Joseph K. wanders through a labyrinth of bureaucratic legal proceedings which make no sense to us or our world of reality.
Some critics contend the visionary work can be read as a cautionary tale detailing the de-humanizing, terror-filled aspects of powerful fascist, dictatorial and totalitarian regimes. Seeing the play in that light produces a foreboding feeling for those who fear the anti-democratic positions of current President Trump and his administration.
Synetic's decision to cast all the play's characters but Joseph K. as insects (a nod to Kafka's most famous short story "The Metamorphosis," where the protagonist wakes up one morning to find himself turned into a giant bug), creates an even sharper distinction between Joseph K.'s humanity and the bureaucratic insensitivity and senselessness of the court.
Kafka's protagonist struggles against an invisible law and an untouchable court that he can't comprehend or fight. Tsikurishvili says he was drawn to the tale's combination of bizarre surrealism and moments of complete clarity.
"Like K., we don't know what is going on, and yet, it's perfectly obvious what's going to happen to him. And even with that inevitability, the story is full of suspense as expectation and reality collide," the director says.
"As humans, we struggle for clarity and meaning, but then are faced with reality with a total lack of meaning. And that's where Kafka's kind of facial absurdity arises. It was these kinds of contradictions and paradoxes through the story that drew me to it," he added.