Tucked away down Emsworth Road just off Shirley High Street is the Maskers Studio Theatre. A hidden treasure for theatre lovers and for those who enjoy arts and culture in the city.
At first appearance it can seem a little unnerving as you head down the alleyway that leads to the the theatre, but once inside you are greeted by a warm welcome and an open bar.
The theatre itself is small but perfectly intimate giving you the opportunity to become fully engrossed in the performance and lost within the world created before you.
The Kit and Kaboodle had the pleasure of attending the Maskers Theatre performance of Metamorphosis. This fictional play derives from Franz Kafka’s novella first published in 1915. Directed by Gail Blues this adaption by Steven Berkoff sets the stage for hard-working Gregor Samsa’s transformation from man to giant bug.
Unusual yes, but mesmerising all the same. The setting is simple with only 3 stalls and a black box for set and props, yet from this the story is told cleverly through use of music, lighting and monologue. Through adept use of actions you are instantly aware of the time of day being portrayed and the different rooms of the house the scene is taking place, simply by movement of the stalls and the behaviour of the actors.
Jonathan Barney-Marmont gives an intense performance as Gregor Samsa, who’s frustration and anguish at his newly formed state is abundantly clear. Enthralled as you watch the lives of sister Greta (Jo Iacovou), Mr Samsa (Paul Green) and Mrs Samsa (Sue Dashper) unravel as they try to cope with what’s happened to Gregor.
The cast didn’t falter throughout the whole performance and all played strong and convincing roles. A real head nod to the quality of acting and performance that you may not expect to see at an amateur theatre.
You can still catch Metamorphosis until Saturday 19th March, and we recommend you give this thought provoking production a try.
At a fraction of the cost compared to a professional production, an evening at the Maskers Theatre is certainly money well spent.