Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dubai Drama Group stages Steven Berkoff's Metamorphosis at thejamjar

Dubai Drama Group's production of Metamorphosis premiered yesterday at thejamjarA Steven Berkoff adaptation of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, it's a tight staging that runs about an uninterrupted hour in length, at a pace that swung between frenetic and placid.

Faraz Javed, Beariz Browne and Lucasta Cummings

Mostly stage right, the characters of Mr, Mrs and Greta Samsa locked horns or wrung hands about their insect problem. Lucasta Cummings as Mrs Samsa was my favorite among them; I felt a very convincing portrayal of maternal concern, confusion and inner torment from her.

Yasmin Altas, Daniel Wakefield and Hani Yakan

Mostly stage left, Yasmin Altas and Hani Yakan had minor speaking roles as a boarder and a chief clerk, respectively, but played very important parts as the drives and emotional state of Gregor Samsa. Gregor's dejection, loneliness and resignation as a dutiful workaholic, and later, a "bug with a heart", were portrayed brilliantly by Daniel Wakefield, who was able to do this in sometimes challenging positions. Combining his powerful monologues with the physical expressions of Yakan and Altas, the three made for a compelling and visually dominating Gregor.

Directors: Emma Kay and Aimée Hedley

Overall, I found it a fairly enjoyable play, with some interesting use of theatrical techniques. The stage area was bereft of walls or backdrops, and featured minimal props, relying mainly on movement and mime to imply the existence of rooms (and transitions among them) and objects. The cast also broke fourth wall to indicate shifts across time, and the available lighting was put to creative use. We see too little of this form of theatre in Dubai, so I hope there's more of it to come.

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