6–31 August, 20.00
Everything that makes Kafka’s novella so wonderfully nightmarish is delivered in dollops of macabre by this admirable production. The vision is outstanding; rictus grins, manic quiffs and pale faces haunt a monochrome timbre punctuated by splashes of scarlet.
The squirming and slithering choreography is engaging, original and tight, accomplished with a grotesque relish. The set is perfectly reduced (without seeming threadbare or pokey as in so many fringe productions) to allow the perversely cartoonish action to riot unrestricted.
The entire cast (who wouldn’t look out of place in a Tim Burton film) are flawless. Gregor gives a powerful performance, delivering all the grisly pathos demanded of the character. Grete is perfectly realised as a kind of sickly Betty Boop, Herr Samsa as a joyfully sinister layabout, and the chattering Frau Samsa as a kind of psychotic Mrs. Bennett. Also of note is the delightfully sinister chief clerk.
Noticeably, despite the quality of individual performances, the coherence and homogeneity of vision in this production is perhaps what lends this imagining its power. A complete and skilful drama. Nightmarish, comically macabre, and deftly executed with a wonderfully plastic surrealism, Metamorphosis is a triumph.