Lemn Sissay breathes new life into Kafka’s Metamorphosis

Following the acclaimed sell-out tour of Othello last year, Frantic Assembly returns to Liverpool Playhouse from Tuesday 17 to Saturday 21 October with their thrilling reimagining of Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis.

Combining the fluidity and lyricism of BAFTA-nominated poet Lemn Sissay’s adaptation, the production depicts on stage a powerful and poetic transformation of the struggles of people within a system. 

Graduate of the Everyman and Playhouse Theatres award-winning Young Everyman Playhouse [YEP] programme, Felipe Pacheco (Othello, Everyman; The Responder, BBC; Brassic, Sky One) will play the main role of Gregor, who wakes up as a bug and finds himself transformed from breadwinner into burden in this absurd and tragic story. 

Felipe is also a graduate of Frantic Assembly’s Ignition programme; a free, nationwide talent development programme for young people aged 16-24. It seeks out underrepresented talent in unexpected places, and in 2022, more than 700 young people were involved in the programme. 

With the return of Joe Layton (Young Wallander, Netflix; Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Marvel) as the Chief Clerk/Lodger and Hannah Sinclair Robinson (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, UK and Ireland Tour) as Grete after the phenomenal run of Othello. Alongside Troy Glasgow (The Wife of Willesden, Kiln Theatre/Boston/NYC; A Streetcar Named Desire, Young Vic/ St Ann’s Warehouse NYC) as Father and Louise Mai Newberry (Romeo and Juliet, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre; All’s Well That Ends Well, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse) who will play the role of Mother.  

Adaptor, poet, broadcaster, and author Lemn Sissay OBE said, “When Frantic Assembly asked me to write a play, an adaptation of Franz Kafka’s novella, Metamorphosis, the first thing I did was run away. This is a challenge for any writer. Right now, we are going through line after line. Every single movement, there’s a million ways to move with any one sentence. And Frantic Assembly is all about movement, connection, getting the absolute utmost out of every single line and emotion in the script. And for a writer that is a privilege.” 

Directed by Frantic Assembly’s award-winning Artistic Director Scott Graham, Metamorphosis is an inherently visceral production about the limitations of the body, mind, imagination and aspiration at the Liverpool Playhouse from Tuesday 17 to Saturday 21 October. Tickets priced from £11 to £36, are on sale now from Frantic Assembly: Metamorphosis | Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse theatres (everymanplayhouse.com) 

Image credit: Tristram Kenton

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