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The Metamorphosis: How would you react if you turned into a giant insect?

vanishing point the metamorphosis aberdeen ivnerness
Don't miss The Metamorphosis at Eden Court in Inverness and a slightly different version of the show at The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen. All photos by Vanishing Point.

“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect,” wrote Franz Kafka in The Metamorphosis in 1915.

Fast forward to 2022, Scottish artist-led theatre company Vanishing Point will bring their theatrical take on the influential allegorical novella to Eden Court in Inverness later this week before a slightly different version arrives at Aberdeen’s The Lemon Tree.

The Metamorphosis is the story of an ordinary man who wakes up to find he has been transformed into an insect. And suddenly, he realises that he has bigger problems than being late for work.

His family, shocked by his bizarre condition, barricade him into his room, unwilling to accept that somewhere inside this behemoth of a bug is their son.

“The Metamorphosis is about how easy it is for someone to feel different from everybody else but, equally, how easy it is for everybody else to be afraid of someone because of the other’s difference,” said Matthew Lenton, artistic director of Vanishing Point.

vanishing point the metamorphosis aberdeen ivnerness
Scottish artist-led theatre company Vanishing Point will bring The Metamorphosis to life.

The Metamorphosis will trill Aberdeen and Inverness audiences

He thinks the brilliance of Kafka’s story is that there are no easy answers.

“The great power of the original story is that every reader imagines what the creature looks like,” said Matthew.

“Kafka insisted that the creature should never be drawn or illustrated when the book was first published. If we know exactly what Gregor has become, or if we see it too clearly, it lets us off the hook.

“We can say ‘Oh that’s not me, it’s someone else’. But the insect could be you, the story is about every one of us and what could happen to any one of us. It asks us to imagine what that would be like.”

‘Unplugged’ performances

One of the first theatrical casualties of the 2020 lockdown, The Metamorphosis has now returned to the stage.

The Metamorphosis will soon hit the road.

Vanishing Point will also present a two-hander production, The Metamorphosis: Unplugged. Developed as part of the company’s commitment to take work across the whole of Scotland, the “Unplugged” strand of work is conceived specially to be staged in smaller-scale venues.

Devised and directed by Vanishing Point’s associate director, Joanna Bowman, this version of Kafka’s seminal work will be told from the perspective of Gregor’s sister, Greta. The show will premiere at Latheron Hall in Caithness on Monday April 25 and will also travel to The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen on Friday April 29.

“We’re proud to present The Metamorphosis on main stages including Eden Court,” said Matthew.

“It reinforces our commitment to international art and collaboration and to making visual and technically ambitious theatre.

“At the same time, we’re thrilled to commission Joanna Bowman to devise her own version of the story, from a different perspective and on a smaller scale, for a show that will tour to small scale venues for audiences across the whole of Scotland.”

How to book tickets to see The Metamorphosis at Eden Court

The Metamorphosis is at Eden Court on Thursday April 7 and Friday April 8. Tickets can be booked here.

If you wish to book tickets for The Metamorphosis: Unplugged at The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen on April 29, click here.

Tickets for the Latheron Village Hall performance on April 25 can be purchased here.

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