Theatre Smith-Gilmour is conjuring up the mythical tales set down by Ovid in the Guloien Theatre at Streetcar Crow’s Nest with their production of Metamorphoses 2023. Directed by Michele Smith, this awe-inspiring production tells stories of change: from the wrath of the gods to the deeds of spurned mortals, Metamorphoses 2023 brings its audience along for an unforgettably magical journey.
I think it’s marvellous that the writing credit for this production lists both Michele Smith and Dean Gilmour, “in collaboration with the Performers.” The collaborative nature of this work is felt throughout the performance; one performer will make sound effects while the other acts out the scene, other times a performer will hold a tree branch or another prop for the main performer to utilize. It truly functions as an ensemble, with most, if not all, of the performers participating in each story. The dance/movement of the piece also showed different influences coming into play and it made the production as a whole emblematic of the performers.
Dean Gilmour guides the audience through the production as Tiresias, the blind soothsayer from Greco-Roman mythology. Gilmour’s passion and expertise are unmistakeable and his command of the stage is remarkable. Rob Feetham, Daniel R. Henkel, Neena Jayarajan, and Sukruti Tirupattur play the various gods and goddesses, kings and queens, nymphs, naiads, and centaurs which populate Ovid’s tales. From humour to sadness to murder, this incredible ensemble ran the gamut of human (and ethereal) emotion. I particularly enjoyed Feetham’s Narcissus, he brought an honesty and a tragedy to the role which I found illuminating. Henkel too had funny and tragic characters like Feetham, however I think I enjoyed his portrayal of Ceyx best; his vulnerability as well as the grace of his movements were mesmerizing. My favourite story for both Jayarajan and Tirupattur was definitely where they played Philomena and Procne respectively. Their ferocity and talent shone through in this piece, and the reaction this story garnered from the audience was priceless.
While I was familiar with many of these stories from my studies, seeing Metamorphoses 2023 was like experiencing them for the first time. This beautiful, raw, inspiring production is perfect for fans of classical literature and newcomers alike. Performances run until April 9th. For more information and tickets, visit: https://www.crowstheatre.com/whats-on/view-all/metamorphoses