Friday, 6 July 2012

Metamorphoses - Review

"The best play I have seen since living in Sydney" Nicola Grayson beamed as she left the Theatre on opening night, she has lived in Sydney for 8 years so this is saying something! Nicola is my younger sister and has been to many plays that I have reviewed. I have to agree it was a brilliant production.
Metamorphoses is playing at the Pact Theatre until the 21 July. It is presented by Apocalypse Theatre Company and bAKEHOUSE Theatre Company.
Mary Zimmerman wrote Metamorphoses in 2002, it is based on the fifteen books by the Roman poet Ovid, describing the history of the world from its creation to the deification of Julius Caesar.  It is bases on Greek mythology with the common theme of love.  There are myths that we all know and love like the story of Midas to some lesser know ones. There is passion and greed, love and loss.  It  reminded me sadly,  we rarely feel fulfilled and generally yearn for more. Though if Greek mythology is anything to go by it might not be a good idea to ask a Greek God for help you or upset one, you might get more than you bargained for.
The acting and performance was fantastic.  The casting was perfect and all the actors were equally talented. There was not one moment when you weren't glued to what was happening on the stage. It was my first visit to the Pact Theatre and if I was to go back I would take a cushion, it has to be one of the most uncomfortable theatres I have ever sat it. However, the space for this production was perfect. As soon as you walk in you wonder that you are in for. You enter through a bank of plastic curtains which surround the staging area and I did wonder, briefly, if an actual murder was going to take place!  The actors are all on stage, simply dressed in white and black. The are standing on large wooden crates.  All is silent and then suddenly the stories start to be told.  Most of the actors remain of stage for the entire production, there are no real costume changes, scene changes but when you are watching it there is constant movement and action. There is narrative, live music, nudity and a touch of comedy.
For me the outstanding element to the production was the direction and the way it was produced, all thanks to Dino Dimitriadis. Dino was on stage for the opening night, as one of the actors had become unwell earlier in the day. Though if he hadn't told us you would not have known. Mary's staging was based round a large lake. Dino decided to move away from this and took quite a modern, simple approach which turned out to be extremely effective. It looked simple to the audience but it would have taken some rehearsing. The crates moved to make stages and prop boxes, there was a clever use of light and material; it created enough of an impression to stimulate your imagination.

I would highly recommend Meamorphoses, though take something to sit on! For more information click here

Photo by Rudi Yap

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