19–31 August, 20.00
The style is melodramatic and a veritable circus of performers; four main parts and a skilful chorus, writhe and swing about the stage to tell the famous story of Gregor Samsa. The young man awakes one day from a toilsome life to find himself a giant insect, the reactions of his family and consequences for all of their lives then unfold in tragic sequence.
The set – a scaffolding archway, is genius. The lithe black bodies of the chorus wend and wind around it to great effect. From amplifying the retching voice of the insect-Gregor, to creating the sounds and shapes of a summer’s day, the body-tightened group show great skill. The lead roles were, for me, a little too cartoonish and in some ways the script trivialised a sad and profound novel.
The story is dark, and the setting is a small-town family household, so why the director decided to portray it using freak-show aesthetics and atmosphere is puzzling. The acting is not top-notch, though the chorus really impressed being both physically and dramatically versatile. One got the slight impression that someone, somewhere was fulfilling a dream combining two disparate fetishes – Kafka and the Circus. In one sense this makes a heady hybrid that whisks the hour by, but in another it detracts somewhat from the glorious original.