Metamorphosis was performed in the Grec Festival in 1999 in the teatre Malic and later returned for a further season. Written by Steven Berkoff, and based on the story by Kafka, Metamorphosis tells the tale of Gregor Samsa, a humble young man who has been working as hard as a dung beetle, for years, just to support his lazy family.
One morning he wakes up and finds that he has actually turned into a real beetle. It doesn’t take long for his boss to arrive with accusations of pilfering and slacking. His family try to put it all down to overwork, but when Gregor finally comes out of his room, which eventually, becomes his cage, all are disgusted by him and there is little sympathy left. His sister Greta looks after him for some months, but when it becomes obvious that Gregor is now a hindrance to them rather than a help, the family neglect him and he eventually dies.
As in most of Berkoff’s plays there are no props. The actors recreate everything with mime and gesture, from the view from a window to the departing train, everything is mime. Through Gregor we see the change from a man trapped in the life of an insect to an insect with human sensitivity. The family shows us attitudes far more disgusting than any insect. The actors have to work hard to reproduce the before, now and after of Gregor’s and their own transformation with stylised movements, more like a dance at times, than traditional theatre.
Metamorphosis is the definitive analogy of the human state imprisoned in the worst conditions imaginable. Conditions so terrible that they end up transforming one into that which is most detestable.
What the critics say
“ with hardly any props or set Escapade bring us once again the opportunity to split our sides laughing. Don’t miss it. This is serious theatre to kill for.”
“Highest audience attendance rate during the first ten days of GREC 99.”