Toronto Premiere of METAMORPHOSIS to Begin Performances 1/28

Toronto Premiere of METAMORPHOSIS to Begin Performances 1/28

Frank Kafka's terrifying but bizarrely comic story Metamorphosis bursts onto the stage in a theatrically explosive new version by renowned British playwright and director David Farr (Associate Director of Royal Shakespeare Company) and actor/director Gisli Örn Gardarsson, of the award-winning Icelandic theatre company Vesturport.

This hugely acclaimed production combines breathtaking physicality and daring aerial action.

After touring around the world, it comes to Toronto. Metamorphosis plays at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, January 28 - March 9, 2014. (Media performance: Sunday, February 2 at 2 PM. The show runs 80 minutes without an intermission.)

The ordinary, unremarkable life of the Samsa family is turned upside down when their son, Gregor, the sole provider for the family, emerges one morning to find himself inexplicably transformed into a gigantic insect. His family's feelings of revulsion turn to resentment with horrifying results.

Metamorphosis is a disturbing story. It is fantastic and horrific, yet surprisingly funny and very sad. It is about human nature, relationships between people, and reactions to extreme circumstances.

Franz Kafka wrote Metamorphosis in 1912 and the novella was published in 1915. Since then, it has become one of the seminal works of the 20th century and one of the pillars of surrealism and existentialism, two important literary movements that have influenced every other art form. Metamorphosis has been adapted into film, opera, dance and theatre many times. But this adaptation takes the story into areas that have not been explored before.

The first defining aspect of this adaptation is its split-level set, which contrasts a drab sitting room and a ceiling-eye view of Gregor's distorted bedroom.

The production's design keeps Gregor as insect permanently visible in a topsy-turvy room, contorting to the sounds of his family's betrayal and swinging from the rafters, as if in a veritable gymnasium.

It is this aerial physicality that has become this production's famous trademark. It's a mid-air transformation of Kafka's hellish creation.

With evocative original music composed by world-renowned musician and lyricist Nick Cave and long time collaborator Warren Ellis from The Bad Seeds, the music emphasize Kafka's dream-like vision and turn it into an electrifying reality.

Metamorphosis was created and premiered in 2006 at the prestigious Lyric Hammersmith in London. It received rave reviews and has been revived twice since, due to popular demand, in 2008 and again in 2013.

The show toured the UK and then performed in South-Korea (Seoul), Ireland (Dublin), at the National Theatre in Iceland (Reykjavik), Hong Kong in February 2009, Tasmania (Hobart) and Australia (Sydney/Wollongong) in April and May 2009, Colombia (Bogotá) in March 2010, BAM (New York) in December 2010 and St Petersburg in April 2011, as a part of Vesturport's retrospective upon winning the European Theatre Award.

The cast includes Björn Thors as Gregor, Unnur Ösp Stefánsdóttir as Greta, Tom Mannion as Herman, Edda Arnljótsdóttir as Lucy, and Víkingur Kristajánsson as Herr Stiethl/Herr Fischer.

METAMORPHOSIS is adapted and co-directed by David Farr (Associate Director of Royal Shakespeare Company) and actor/director Gisli Örn Gardarsson, of the award-winning Icelandic theatre company Vesturport.
The stage design is by Börkur Jónsson, with music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, lighting design by Björn Helgason, sound design by Nick Manning, and costume design by Brenda Murphy. METAMORPHOSIS is produced by Dýri Jónsson of Vesturport Theatre.

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