Gregor Samsa, a travelling salesman, awakes one morning to find that he has been turned into a monstrous insect. His mother, father and younger sister respond to his transformation in very different ways.
Arthur Pita’s adaptation of Franz Kafka’s 1915 novella had its premiere at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre in 2011. The role of Gregor Samsa was created for Royal Ballet Principal Edward Watson, and draws on his extraordinary technical abilities. The unusual and absurd story is conveyed through startling choreography – an intelligent presentation of the pressures and yearnings of the young Kafka.
Frank Moon’s score and Simon Daw’s stark, white designs create a claustrophobic atmosphere, while the horror of Gregor’s physical alteration is evoked by black fluid that smears the stage. Although Gregor’s mother and father struggle to come to terms with his transformation, his younger sister, Grete, is more sympathetic. However, her feelings change and she undergoes her own metamorphosis as she moves from childhood to adulthood. The Metamorphosis won a South Bank Sky Arts Award and Edward Watson won the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance for his role.
News and features
7 February 2014
A look at the development of the male dancer.
31 January 2014
Royal Ballet Principal Edward Watson to sign copies of the DVD at the Royal Opera House Shop on 7 February.
3 May 2013
Further chances to see Arthur Pita's acclaimed dance-theatre adaptation.
21 March 2013
Acclaimed production isn’t just about dance, it’s also about treacle.
15 April 2012
Ceremony held at Royal Opera House.
15 September 2011
A Principal of the Royal Ballet, Edward Watson will be performing in a new ROH2 production of The Metamorphosis later this month, we caught up with him after rehearsals to talk about the creative process.