“Being as good as Kafka is hard, and Farr and Gardarsson are certainly not up to it,” said Fintan O’Toole on Saturday of the Gísli Örn Gardarsson/David Farr production of Metamorphosis. “The performance may defy gravity, but it falls down when trying to attach Kafka’s allegory to something meaningful,” said Peter Crawley. Can the original work by Kafka on which the play is based ever be set aside in our cultural consciousness long enough to allow for this play to be judged on its own merits? Should it be?
There is always a danger approaching a work that has been ‘adapted’ to a new form. When a beloved book gets the big screen treatment, readers are rarely enamoured of the results, while those who come to it without the literary precursor in mind are often much more forgiving.
So what happened in the case of Metamorphosis? Much has been altered, as O’Toole pointed out, but isn’t it strangely fitting for a work with such a title? Or was the metamorphosis too much?