Book – Metamorphosis
Author – Steven Berkoff (based on the Franz Kafka book)
Year – 1969
Genre – Play
Pages – 51
Last week, I performed in DAODS production of Crazy For You – and very well it went too. What was particularly nice, is that on the final night of the production, a group of friends of mine from my university days came to see the show. Some of them I hadn’t seen for seven years, and it was wonderful to see them all, and in anticipation of their arrival, I decided to reread one of the plays that I worked on with many of them – Stephen Berkoff’s Metamorphosis.
The original Kafka book is generally regarded as one of the most important books of the twentieth century. Gregor Samsa works hard to keep his family clothed and fed, but one morning everything changes when he awakes to find himself transformed into a giant beetle. The play covers how this affects the family, and is – in all honesty – a pretty grimly dark piece.
Even rereading the play, the scope for what you can do with a production such as this is impressive. You are given the central idea of a beetle living with the family, and this gives all kinds of possibilities for physical theatre to rear its head. There are flashbacks that flow straight into the dialogue, and the whole thing has a very grotesque feel to it – a quality that we wholeheartedly anchored in our production. I have never enjoyed being in a production quite as much as this one, and urge you to try and see it performed – I have done so twice since I was in it and enjoyed it each time.