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Independent Theatre has never been so bizarre yet strangely enjoyable, as audiences must utilise their intellect to extract the underlying themes and messages, hidden under the surface of what appears to be a simplistic and easy to follow play.

Based on the classic 1912 novella by acclaimed German writer Franz Kafka and adapted for the stage by David Farr and Gisli Orn Gardarsson, the story examines how the lives of a family are disastrously affected, when their son Gregor is metamorphosed into a monstrous insect. Initial horror and concern from his parents and sister predictably transform into persecution and disgust.

Overflowing with symbolism and open to differing interpretations, the play which is astutely directed by Amanda Stephens-Lee, makes a justifiable comment on society. How often have we estranged family members for menial discord? Relatable themes of alienation, isolation, self-degradation and guilt are prevalent and still as relevant today as when the novella was written.

Creative staging and lighting are atmospheric and vigorous performances from a wonderful ensemble cast of six including Sam Glissan as the grotesque Gregor and Yannick Lawry (Freud’s Last Session) as the father, should ensure that audiences are profoundly mesmerised by what can only be described as a wickedly funny black comedy.

The comedy which at time borders on slapstick quickly alternates into an explosion of emotions, as the unsavoury reactions from the family members infiltrate.

This stylish, unconventional and uniquely remarkable play which resonates how ‘a quiet ordinary family life’ can quickly transform into a catastrophic nightmare, should prove to be an enjoyable night out for discerning theatre-goers who demand high quality and thought-provoking stage plays. (MMo)

Until Feb 16. Chippen Street Theatre, 45 Chippen Street, Chippendale. $27.20-$34.70+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.clockandspielproductions.com