“The triumph of the production is that it uses physical ingenuity to get to the tragic heart of Kafka’s fable.”
Michael Billington, The Guardian
“It’s grimly disturbing, but illuminated by such brilliant theatricality that it’s impossible to tear your eyes away. Potent, startling, visceral and thoughtful.”
”When Cave’s famous baritone emerges in the twisted euphoric final scene, it marks the climax of truly special night of theatre”
Time Out, Hong Kong
”Thanks to this team, it is very possibly, the finest, highest expression of theatre to which I´ve yet born witness”
METAMORPHOSIS by Franz Kafka
A Lyric Hammersmith and Vesturport production
Directed and adapted by David Farr and Gisli Örn Gardarsson
Kafka’s terrifying but bizarrely comic story bursts onto the stage in a theatrically explosive new version by Artistic Director David Farr (Lyric Hammersmith Theatre) and actor/director Gisli Örn Gardarsson of Vesturport. This hugely acclaimed production combines breathtaking physicality and daring aerial action as the recently transformed Gregor lithely negotiates a gravity-defying split level set. Domestic tragedy or a metaphor for totalitarian brutality? Metamorphosis is a disturbing story. It is fantastic and horrific; surprisingly funny and very sad. It is about human nature, relationships between people, and reactions to extreme circumstances. A haunting story. A story worth exploring. There is a voice within the story. A voice which has sadly been heard all over the world in many forms. From the birth of the human nature it seems. The ordinary, unremarkable life of the Samsa is turned upside down when their son, Gregor, the sole provider for the family, emerges one morning to find himself inexplicably transformed into a gigantic insect. His family’s feelings of revulsion turn to resentment with horrifying results. It’s the weirdness you notice first – the split-level set contrasts a drab sitting room and a ceiling-eye view of Gregor’s distorted bedroom.
The production’s stunning design which keeps the insect permanently visible in a topsy-turvy upstairs room, contorting to the sounds of his family’s betrayal and swinging from the rafters, as in a veritable gymnasium. In it, the aerial physicality that has become Gisli Örn Gardarsson’s trademark seems a match made in heaven for Kafka’s hellish creation. With evocative original music composed by world-renowned musician and lyricist Nick Cave and long time collaborator Warren Ellis from The Bad Seeds, the music emphasize Kafka’s dream-like vision and turn it into an electrifying reality.
Metamorphosis was performed twice at the Lyric Hammersmith in London (brought back due to popular demand), toured the UK and then performed in South-Korea (Seoul), Ireland (Dublin), At the National Theatre in Iceland (Reykjavik), Hong Kong in February 2009, Tasmania (Hobart) and Australia (Sidney/Wollongong) in April and May 2009, Colombia (Bogotá) in March 2010, BAM (New York) in December 2010 and St Petersburg in April 2011 as a part of Vesturport winning the European Theatre Award.
Running time: 85 minutes without interval
Herr Stiethl and Herr Fischer
Adapted and directed by
Stage Design by
Original light design
Seoul, South Korea
HONG KONG, China
New York, USA
St. Petersburg, Russia