The Clod Ensemble, The Metamorphoses

Review in Issue 8-4 | Winter 1996

Ovid’s Metamorphoses was the basis for the Clod Ensemble’s latest show. Nine performers and seven musicians blended a mixture of movement, text and music to tell eight stories from Ovid. In ‘Leto and the Lycian Peasants’ a mother who was refused access to the river curses the peasants who denied her water and then turns them into frogs. The transformation was great and good characterisation aided an understanding of the story. The set comprised a circle of sand reminiscent of a circus ring. The musicians sat to one side and on the other was an underused silver staircase. But why the sand? It was only utilised once throughout the show, when sowing grain. The main strength of the piece was the outstanding music, composed by Paul Clark. It was unusual to see so many musicians integrated into a devised theatre piece. During the telling of the ‘Narcissus and Echo’ story, a violinist was tastefully seduced, the music reflecting the moment. The seducer’s wife entered, took the violin, and with a pair of pliers snapped off the strings. Despite containing many powerful images and superb music the overall effect of Metamorphoses, however, was pretentious, abstract and incomprehensible. The company also wrongly assumed that their audience would be familiar with Ovid’s stories.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue

This article in the magazine

TT 8-4
Issue 8-4
p. 20