Fringe Review: Kafka's Metamorphosis (3 stars)
Show: Kafka's Metamorphosis
Reviewed by: Liz Nicholls
Venue: Stage 35, La Cité francophone
Rating: 3 stars
Meet the Samsas. Family dysfunction doesn’t come any more bizarre than theirs.
At least that’s one way of looking at Franz Kafka’s celebrated tale of alienation, a reverse rise-and-shine in which a man awakes one morning to discover he’s changed into giant insect. This mysterious transformation in itself counts as a bona fide coup de theatre, which may explain why artists gravitate to it like Beat poets to bourbon.
In its opening image, Keltie Brown’s production has a disconcerting, surreal theatricality to it. We see a gaunt, gangly-limbed creature (Nikolai Witschl) struggle and fail to right himself in a sort of outsized hammock slung from above in a long shaft of light. Kenneth Brown’s conversational adaptation, in which the other players share the storytelling, gives voice to Gregor’s thoughts on the fateful morning. “Gawd, what a demanding job I’ve chosen,” he thinks, figuring that his job as a travelling salesman, with “its bad food, insincere friends,” and the rest, has been getting him down. “This getting up early makes a man quite insane.”