BrumHour was invited to the press night of Metamorphosis at The Old Rep.
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
Metamorphosis at The Old Rep
Based on the novella by Kafka, co-directed by Matilda Dickinson adapted, co-directed and produced by Adam Lloyd-James.
Metamorphosis is at The Old Rep until 2nd March and is a dark and challenging tale.
Gregor Samsa (Adam Lloyd-James) is overworked and his life as a travelling salesman and his daily routine has started to make him wonder what life is about. He has been supporting his family as his father (Mike Harley) hasn’t worked in five years and dotes on his talented sister Grete (Ellie Ekers) Gregor’s mother (Liz Hume) becomes concerned when he sleeps through his alarm one morning and won’t open his bedroom door. Gregor’s boss (Luke Hardwell) turns up at the Samsa family home and discovers Gregor has developed very large lumps on his face overnight and bruises on his legs.
Gregor’s condition deteriorates swiftly, he soon he struggles to communicate, doesn’t eat much and becomes ashamed of his situation often hiding behind furniture or under his bed. His transformation is just beginning.
From the moment I entered the theatre the unsettling music and the stage layout made me wonder what would happen. The set is the apartment of the Samsa family with Gregor’s bedroom towards the rear of the stage. Lighting shifts from warm to stark to dark often to signify the passage of time accompanied by sharp music notes.
The play becomes darker and darker as the family struggle with their financial situation and the burden of Gregor, Luke Hardwell plays at least five different characters throughout this story adding some much needed light relief at times especially as the scatterbrained Doctor who just offers Gregor’s mother pills for her son.
Adam Lloyd-James’ Gregor brings us on his journey into madness with ever evolving makeup and his monologues are brilliantly played out.
I’ve never read any of Kafka’s work I wonder how Kafka would have written today about these characters. To me Gregor’s situation represents is depression, and dependency on drugs, but I’m sure to others it will have different meanings.
Not a typical night out, but still lots to find merit within and its haunting style left me thinking about the story for hours afterwards.
Metamorphosis is at The Old Rep until 2nd March. Book tickets here: oldreptheatre.co.uk/calendar/?calid=2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10,11,1,12&pid=3&viewid=1&event=97
This isn’t a sponsored post.
When not blogging theatre for #BrumHour, Dave Massey can be found eating crisps and claiming to be at the gym. And tweeting about Birmingham.