Metamorphosis, 3 Stars

Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue
4th July, 8pm

“Maria Caruso is to make her West End debut with her critically acclaimed solo show, ‘Metamorphosis’, performed without the utterance of a single word and considered one of the most unique works of theatre in decades. Hailed as one of Caruso’s greatest solo creations to date, Metamorphosis has been performed across the globe since its critically acclaimed five-month run off-Broadway in 2021.A dance theatre work, heavily influenced by the artist’s ballet and modern vocabularies, the audience is immersed in the emotion of the creator’s true story and selfless expression on the stage. Her entire body transfixes the audience through her raw and personal metamorphosis, leaving you changed forever through the universality of emotions on stage.”

Review by Richard Lambert, 3 Stars

Maria Caruso starts her evening in a cocoon of what would appear to be a flesh coloured chiffon blanket. This ultimately becomes her comfort blanket, returning to it between every morph into other characters. There are 4 different coloured dresses hanging on black cord. The 1st dress is black and causes the dancer to itch all over like she has scabies. When this is discarded she returns to her comfort blanket. Choosing the next dress, green, creates a world where she mimes the fourth wall as a barrier blocking her into the stage. She then returns to her comfort blanket. Next is the Red dress where she becomes a MILF, sultry and seductive. I think by this point we’ve all determined what will come next. The tie-died blue-green dress is the final dress which suits her moods better so she finally discards her comfort blanket.

In between the dance pieces is some angst, tears, panting and screaming. What can I say except “it’s contemporary”. An accomplished dancer with a lot of self-belief and passion, spewing emotions all over the stage.

But is it “a sudden great change in an animal”? Is it truly a Metamorphosis? There were different emotions behind each dance but were they sufficiently different?

Surprisingly for dance there was no side-light. With only front and top light the overall lighting scheme was flat and dull. The Soundscape was more emotive and creative.

The show is rather long for it’s concept and a little thin on the narrative but nonetheless showcases an American solo dancer on a West End stage. In case you missed it, there is a film on the horizon.

(Photo credit: Jeronimo Gomes)