The Metamorphosis @ Tron Theatre, Glasgow
Divisive figures such as Donald Trump and Katie Hopkins are bought to mind in this intelligent re-imagining of Kafka's classic
Modern and minimalist, this joint production from the Tron in conjunction with Vanishing Point and Emilia Romanga Teatro Fondazione explores difference and alienation in an age of growing tension between the perceived “us” and “them”.
The story is effortlessly updated and transposed. We enter a West Coast of Scotland family where Gregor (played by Sam Stopford) is the modest breadwinner at Grub’s Up (a corporation that's like Uber Eats on steroids). Instead of an elaborate costume change for Gregor’s appearance as an insect, Gregor in bug form is played by Nico Guerzoni, whose anatomical differences are very much human but who is made abruptly distinct because he speaks in Italian. Immediately we understand that The Metamorphosis is presented as a metaphor for the foreign, what we do not understand, or that that is unfamiliar to us.
The metaphor is interrogated and vivisected for the rest of the play, allowing the audience to feel the full force of its poignancy. It instantly evokes the xenophobic and dehumanising remarks of public figures such as Trump, Hopkins and their detestable crew, but refuses to diminish itself to a crass limitation of this as the extent of it’s possibilities.
Kenneth MacLeod’s set is instantly striking – all black walls and fluorescent stripes – and provides a black canvas for some simple and also mind-boggling surreal set design to creep forward.
This is a refined production with integrity and intelligence that calls out society’s double standards and highlights hypocrisy, performed by an excellent cast.
Performances of The Metamorphosis are postponed until further notice