Kafka more and more becomes an Everyman - or Everybug - on the stages of the world. [DE]
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Taiwan Contemporary Legend Theatre stage Metamorphosis at 2013 Edinburgh International Festival
Actor Wu Hsing-kuo tackles Kafka's text in technology-heavy production
Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis is creeping towards its centenary. As this landmark tale is unleashed on the EIF, Taiwanese actor Wu Hsing-kuo talks to Mark Fisher about movement, multimedia and mothers
Wu Hsing-kuo knows all about transformation. In the Edinburgh International Festival of 2011, he morphed himself into all the key characters of King Lear. In his idiosyncratic one-man interpretation of Shakespeare’s play, Wu tackled each part in turn, drawing on the techniques of Peking opera and employing balletic kicks, athletic tumbles, operatic wails and the most delicate of eye movements.
When it comes to transformation, there is no greater novella than Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, with its story of Gregor Samsa, a travelling salesman who wakes to find himself inexplicably turned into a beetle. It is to this strange European allegory, published in 1915, that Wu has now turned as he heads back to Edinburgh with Taiwan’s Contemporary Legend Theatre. ‘Kafka is a thinker as well as an author,’ he says. ‘His philosophy has had a great impact in the East.’