KATHMANDU, May 6: Inspired by the Greek tales of Metamorphoses written by Roman poet Ovid and a contemporary version written by American dramatist Mary Zimmermann, the opening night of Studio 7’s own dramatic adaptation, Scenes from the Metamorphoses, took place at the Theatre of Hotel Vajra, Swayambu on Friday night.
The play, adapted by Sabine Lehmann and Ludmilla Hungerhuber, told seven stories from Metamorphoses that follows different gods, demi-gods and simple men through their stories.
The seven different stories dealt with unending greed, with unrequited love and with the problems of a young urban demi-god.
All seven stories were brilliantly portrayed, but the one that really stood out were the tales of King Ceyx and his bereft Queen Alcyone.
The acting of both King Ceyx (Nirab Rimal) and Alcyone (Samuna KC) were good but the sheer insanity performed by Morpheus (Bidesh Thapaliya) was amazing.
Another story that really struck out was of that Vertumnus and the pretty wood-sprite Pomona. Vertumnus, the god of seasons and plant growth, falls in deep love with Pomona and tries on different guises to try and woo her but finds out in the end, that the greatest of guises is none at all.
Vertumnus (Karma) acts brilliantly with smooth theatrical moves proving that the actor is most comfortable on a stage rather than in front of a camera, where as the role of Pomona (Kalsang Dolkar Lama) didn’t reflect the acting potential of the actress.
“The play was portrayed with tenderness and honestly that resonates in our own lives,” said Keith Lesli, a Kathmandu-based Bamboo farmer. “And like the water that they use serves as a reflection, not only to them but to each and every one of us and how we live lives,”
One of the major ups in the setting of the play was the pool of water on stage. The pool of water, a major prop in every story told, gave a different dimension to the way the actors interacted with each other and with the audience.
The pool represented oceans, rivers, ponds and even a rich-man’s own personal swimming pool and what gave the pool more spunk, was the actors interacting with the water often led to people on the front row getting splashed.
“This is my 6th play and I’ve had one of the best experiences acting in this play,” says 22 year-old, Divya Dev Pant, who played the part of the Roman narrator in the play, adding, “I had more freedom to create my own characters. I didn’t feel restricted in anyway acting in this play and I loved the freedom I go to express myself so well.”
Even though Metamorphoses is a play based in Greece with Greek characters, the directors did a brilliant job of giving it a Nepali feel.
From the live music to the props to the costumes, all reeked of a definitive Nepali culture. The actors were brilliant but their pronunciations as well as vocal-levels were sketchy.
There were times the audience couldn’t hear the actors deliver their dialogues and times when even though they did, it was difficult to follow.
Putting aside the minor flaws, Metamorphoses is a brilliant play that theater enthusiasts and novices alike cannot afford to miss.
The play runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 20 May for Rs. 800 with a 50% student discount.