Development Diaries: Metamorphoses

Produced by Montague Basement, Metamorphoses 'bursts through 15 books of the finest Latin poetry known to man with pathos, irreverence, humour and energy'. Tickets are available here.

Lulu’s Development Diary

Day 1: I’m inordinately excited to be starting Metamorphoses rehearsals, and sharing this process with you. Personally, I’m really interested to see how these myths translate into a modern context, and what resonates from Ovid’s time to today. There are so many instances of female oppression, for example, which ring scarily true for a contemporary audience. I’m really looking forward to illuminating this process for you and opening up our journey for you to share.

I will say though that Saro’s process and journey so far is a little weird - he’s started by asking us to only call him “Jove” from now on. He only plays Jove a couple of times in the show. This raises an interesting point - what about all of the other characters? Is he playing the rest of the characters as Jove playing that character? Is this in fact a metamorphosis within a metamorphosis? As an actor I’m happy to go along with whatever to keep the peace, and I’m sure we’re in for an interesting rehearsal period. “Jove, Mighty God of Thunder” it is.

Day 2: At this stage, the show itself is coming along great - there are some really fascinating things to draw out in each myth, and often unexpected, particularly in terms of the gender relations of the characters. The rehearsal process itself, however, is getting stranger and stranger. For one, Saro won’t take off the newly-acquired bull costume. Europa and the Bull is just one of many myths. But now Apollo is a bull, Nestor is a bull, Icarus is a (winged) bull. The costume is starting to smell a bit and I don’t know how to bring that up. Is he wearing it at home? Is he ever taking it off? 

Day 3: Fun rehearsal fact for today: “Jove” has started sending “Juno” creepy gifts. Actually in the scheme of the show and the mythological canon this doesn’t make sense at all. Jove is a terrible partner and definitely wouldn’t send gifts. But he using them to give me all these hints of things he could turn into to have sex. As a performer, I’m curious as to who he would be seducing via these disguises because canonically it wouldn’t be Juno. Therefore, why did Saro/”Jove” send me/”Juno” a bottle of gold glitter and a tacky swan figurine? He also keeps complaining how no one understands how hard it is to give birth out of your skull.

Day 4: Right. Now he’s just fucking with me. He kept screwing up his lines today so that I had to keep drinking milk in the Io scene. I’m lactose-intolerant, asshole.

Day 5: Drawing on extensive dramatic and post-dramatic theory, “Jove” has decided that as God of Thunder he doesn’t have to come to rehearsal today. At least Imogen and I are actually getting some work done now? But he keeps sending as weird texts about how cold it is living on Olympus. Has he actually moved on to a mountain? 

Day 6: I woke up this morning to find a boar carcass set on fire in my backyard “as a tribute to the queen of Olympus”. I was informed this was appropriate because Jove has no respect for personal space.

Also I’m pretty sure he’s only giving it to Juno to make up for cheating on her. Again. I swear to God please come to Metamorphoses and make this all worth something.