Fringe Online 2020
“When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous verminous bug. In that moment his world instantly changed. Unable to leave his home, he could not work, he could not communicate, he could not hold his family close, he went from provider to burden. He was on mute while the world revolved around him. A cast of 12, all of whom awoke to a different world, without work, forced to reinterpret their profession, their identity, their very worth to the world, offer a reinterpretation of Franz Kafka’s classic novella for our times.”
Metamorphosis, Hijinx Theatre’s latest theatre production, directed by Ben Pettitt-Wade, performed remotely late August at Green Man 2020 in the UK, and is about to be produced by USA’s The Red Curtain International’s The Good The@ter Festival & Awards, with shows available remotely on 28 November 2020.
Hijinx Theatre, from Wales, UK, has created a deliciously freely adapted play based on Kafka’s novella from 1915, The Metamorphosis – that starts with Gregor Samsa, a fellow who woke up one day after a bad night’s sleep transformed in to a verminous bug!
The fact that Samsa is unable to continue his life as he knew it – he can not meet friends or family, or go out to work or even leave his house – is prescient of our lives today, during the pandemic. It is also a brilliant story for a new theatre production, while we are all living through some sort of shelter in place or isolation – actors and audiences included.
Communicating remotely via Zoom or another online platform is how many of us are working or visiting friends and family, these days. It is no wonder, then, that the arts and their companies and organisations have adapted to be able to keep artists working and creating by producing plays, concerts, exhibitions and more online. The arts nourish the soul and we need this in our lives now more than ever, so experiencing these events is most welcome.
Hijinx Theatre productions are always creative, entertaining and thought provoking and their Metamorphosis fulfills these elements 100%, through witty crisp dialogue, physical theatre, interesting characters, absurdist humour, and some very effective darker macabre scenes supported by beautifully haunting lighting.
While this intricate snappy interactive play is produced remotely, there are also fascinating interactions that make the audience feel like they are in the bar of the theatre before the show. No spoilers here – but you will see for yourself!
The cast of actors in Metamorphosis play different characters in ever-changing scene combinations with astute timing, a range of emotion, raw humanity and dynamic physical action, supported by a well tuned creative and production team.
Devisors & Performers: Lindsay Foster, Lucy Green, Ffi Gwyther, Gareth John, Hannah McPake, Michelle McTernan, Richard Newnham, Owen Pugh, Douglas Rutter, Dan Sayer, Morgan Thomas, Owen Thompson.
Creatives & Production Team: Dan McGowan, Creative Associate; Tic Ashfield, Composer;Karol Cysewski, Choreographer; Richard Newnham, Associate Artist; Tom Ayres, Production Manager & Video Editor; Ellis Wrightbrook, Moderator & Producer; Carys Mol, Stage Manager & Assistant Producer; Dan Jones, Video Technician.
Access Team: Ellen Groves, Audio Describer; Samantha Boyd (Wall-to-Wall Stenography), Captioner.
The story and scenes veer a little – well, quite a bit really – from the novella into dramatic and hilarious activities for this company of actors, such as hectic auditions, tender and eerie moments of privacy, chaotic situations and one or two Zoom clichés, all accomplished with equal charm, gusto and tongue in cheek verve.
Hijinx Theatre’s Metamorphosis is compelling and outstanding Zoom theatre, under Pettitt-Wade’s smart direction it is well devised and performed, with imaginative quick change locations, building to a wonderful ending with fresh witty abstract choreography infused with Hijinx humour. Highly recommended!