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A Frantic Assembly Production, co-produced with Theatre Royal Plymouth, Curve, MAST Mayflower Studios and Lyric Hammersmith Theatre.

Frantic Assembly is delighted to announce casting and the full creative team for its new adaptation of Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis, a collaboration between BAFTA nominated poet, playwright and broadcaster Lemn Sissay OBE (author of bestselling book My Name Is Why and soon to be published new poetry collection Let the Light Pour In – out this September) and Frantic Assembly’s Artistic Director Scott Graham (Othello, Lovesong, Beautiful Burnout).  Metamorphosis premieres at Theatre Royal Plymouth from 11 September before embarking on a major tour including The Lowry, Salford from 14 – 18 November 2023.

Following their acclaimed performances as Iago, Roderigo and Bianca in Frantic Assembly’s recent sell-out tour of Othello, Joe Layton (Young Wallander, Netflix; Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Marvel) will play the Chief Clerk/Lodger, Felipe Pacheco (The Responder, BBC; Brassic, Sky One) will play Gregor and Hannah Sinclair Robinson (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, UK and Ireland Tour; Rockets, Blue Lights, both National Theatre) will play Grete.  They will be joined by Troy Glasgow (The Wife of Willesden, Kiln Theatre/Boston/NYC; A Streetcar Named Desire, Young Vic/ St Ann’s Warehouse NYC) as Father and Louise Mai Newberry (Romeo and Juliet, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre; All’s Well That Ends Well, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse) who will play the role of Mother.

Metamorphosis will be adapted by Lemn Sissay OBE, directed by Scott Graham, designed by Jon Bauser, composed by Stefan Janik, with lighting design by Simisola Majekodunmi, video design by Ian William Galloway, sound design by Helen Skiera, and costume design by Becky Gunstone, the associate director is David Gilbert and casting director is Will Burton CDG.

Kafka’s Metamorphosis is a powerful and vital depiction of humans struggling within a system that crushes them under its heel.  Gregor Samsa finds himself transformed from breadwinner into burden in this absurd and tragic story.  Frantic Assembly is renowned for its use of physicality and movement and Metamorphosis will be an inherently visceral production about the limitations of the body and mind, imagination and aspiration. All of this, coupled with the fluidity and lyricism of Lemn Sissay’s adaptation, promises an exciting and dynamic show.

Metamorphosis is a co-production with Theatre Royal Plymouth, Curve Leicester, MAST Mayflower Studios and Lyric Hammersmith Theatre.

The new production will premiere at Theatre Royal Plymouth from 11 – 16 September 2023, before touring to Curve Theatre Leicester (19 – 23 September 2023), MAST Mayflower Studios Southampton (26 – 30 September 2023), Connaught Theatre Worthing (3 – 7  October 2023), York Theatre Royal (10 – 14 October 2023), Liverpool Playhouse (17 – 21  October 2023), Northern Stage Newcastle (24 – 28  October 2023), Mercury Theatre Colchester (7 – 11  November 2023), The Lowry Salford Quays (14 – 18  November 2023), Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford  (21 – 25  November 2023), Bristol Old Vic (10-20 January 2024), Belgrade Theatre Coventry (23 – 27 January 2024) and a four week run at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre from 1 February – 2 March 2024.

Lemn Sissay’s new collection of poetry Let the Light Pour In will be published by Canongate on 21 September 2023.  For the past decade, Sissay has composed a short poem as dawn breaks each morning. Let the Light Pour In is a life-affirming and witty collection of the best of these poems fueled by resilience and defiant joy.

Metamorphosis is at The Lowry, Salford from 14th – 18th November 2023. For more information and tickets visit


For more information, images, or to arrange interviews please contact Jennifer Dean at Images can also be downloaded from


Listing Information

The Lowry, Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ

14 – 18 November 2023



A Frantic Assembly Production, co-produced with Theatre Royal Plymouth, Curve, MAST Mayflower Studios and Lyric Hammersmith Theatre

Creative Team

Adapted by                                         Lemn Sissay OBE

Director                                              Scott Graham
Designer                                             Jon Bausor

Lighting Designer                             Simisola Majekodunmi

Video Designer                                  Ian William Galloway

Composer                                            Stefan Janik

Sound Designer                                 Helen Skiera

Costume Designer                            Becky Gunstone

Associate Director                             David Gilbert

Casting Director                                Will Burton CDG



Lemn Sissay OBE (Adaptor)

Lemn Sissay OBE is a poet, broadcaster and author. Lemn won the RIMA award from the Commission for Racial Equality in 2005 for his one-man radio drama Something Dark. He has published extensive plays and radio dramas, including Lemn Sissay’s Origin Stories for the BBC, The Report at the Royal Court, a one-off show about the effects of a psychologist’s report as he was observed as a child and an adaptation of Benjamin Zephaniah’s Refugee Boy for West Yorkshire Playhouse.   Lemn has made multiple award-winning documentaries, including Lemn Sissay: Memory of Me for BBC One’s Imagine strand, and Superkids: Breaking Away from Care for Channel 4. From 2007, he became the artist-in-residence at the Southbank Centre. Beyond this, his work has featured at the Royal Academy and the British Film Institute. In 2012, he was the official poet for the London Olympic Games. He was chancellor of the University of Manchester from 2015 – 2022 and his poems are permanent installations across the city and in London at locations including Royal Festival Hall and Olympic Park.  In 2015 he featured on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. Lemn became a trustee of the Foundling Museum in 2017, and in 2019 he was awarded the PEN Pinter Prize. In that same year, he published his memoir My Name is Why to great critical acclaim. In 2022, Lemn took park in television programmes such as BBC’s Live Lessons, curated poems for BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Season and Team GB’s 10th Anniversary, and wrote and presented his own podcast series with the British Library called All About Sound.


Scott Graham (Director)

Scott is Artistic Director of Frantic Assembly, co-founding the company in 1994. He has received nominations for his work on Beautiful Burnout (Drama Desk Award, New York), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Olivier, Tony and Fred Astaire Awards). With Steven Hoggett he won the TMA Award (now UK Theatre Awards) for Best Direction for Othello. He has provided movement direction for shows at the Donmar Warehouse, Royal National Theatre, National Theatre Wales and Singapore Rep. He has developed and written extensively about The Frantic Method. His recent directing credits with Frantic Assembly include Othello, TOUCH, I Think We Are Alone, Sometimes Thinking, Fatherland, Things I Know To Be. 

With Steven Hoggett, he has written The Frantic Assembly Book of Devising Theatre (Routledge). Scott is passionate about creating opportunities for people who might see theatre as a challenge or alienating, and believes that these new voices and fresh perspectives are vital to the health of the arts.


Troy Glasgow (Father)

Theatre credits include:  The Wife of Willesden (Kiln Theatre/Boston/NYC), DNA/Babygirl/The Miracle, Harper Regan (National Theatre); There’s Only One Wayne Matthews (Crucible Theatre); A Streetcar Named Desire (Young Vic Theatre/St Ann’s Warehouse NYC); Fatal Attraction (UK Tour).

Film/Television credits include: The Bill, Holby City, Doctor Who, Skins, The Day of the Triffids, Adulthood, London’s Burning, MI High, Mr Harvey Lights a Candle, Shoot the Messenger, Piggy, World War Z.


Joe Layton (Chief Clerk/Lodger)

Theatre credits include: Othello, The Unreturning, The Fear: Ignition (Frantic Assembly); Partial Nudity (Fandango Productions); A Level Playing Field (Jermyn Street Theatre); Sam Wanamaker Festival (The Globe); Animal Farm (West Yorkshire Playhouse).

Television and Films credits include: Young Wallander, Liberte: A Time to Spy, The Trouble With Maggie Cole, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, A Moving Image, Thirteen, Casualty, Father Brown, New Worlds.


Louise Mai Newberry (Mother)

Theatre credits include: The Good Person of Szechwan (Lyric Hammersmith Theatre); The Climbers (Theatre by the Lake); The Smeds & The Smoos (U.K. Tour); Romeo and Juliet (Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park); Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory); Plenty (Chichester Festival Theatre); All’s Well That Ends Well (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse) Lampedusa (Citizen’s Theatre); Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Pericles (Factory Theatre); Evelyn’s Roots, Adventures in Wonderland, Twelfth Night (Teatro Vivo); The Sugar-Coated Bullets of the Bourgeoisie (Arcola Theatre); Any Means Necessary (Nottingham Playhouse); The Snow Dragon (U.K. Tour / U.S. Tour); The Gruffalo (U.K. Tour / Ireland Tour); The Long Life and Great Good Fortune of John Clare (Eastern Angles Centre); Dim Sum Nights, Wave, Boom (Yellow Earth Theatre, U.K. Tours); Pick-Ups, The Sacred Nymphs of Natterjack (Bush Theatre); Not The End Of The World (Bristol Old Vic); Transmissions (Birmingham Rep); The Good Woman of Szechwan (Leicester Haymarket); Noah’s Ark (Walk The Plank); Hecuba (Theatro Technis); King Lear (Orange Tree Theatre); The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (Royal Shakespeare Company). Television credits include: Doctors, Doctor Who (BBC One); Blacklist (NBC); Goal! (BBC Worldwide); The Bill (ITV); Dream Machines (SyFy); Future Makers (Discovery Channel); Clifford’s Puppy Days (PBS Kids). Radio credits include: Inspector Chen, The Good Listener (Radio Four). Film credits include: Go Back Home, The Shape of Things, Screentime, My One and Only, Fluid, Christie, Foreplay, The God Game, Fracking Regent’s Park, Put It On the Map, Tsuppari, La Jalousie.


Felipe Pacheco (Gregor)

Felipe is a Brazilian-British actor and movement artist who grew up in the North-West. He first trained at Columbia College Chicago and then the University of Surrey (GSA), graduating in 2019. Most recent screen credits include Patterns (Amazon Prime 2023), Brassic S4 (Sky One 2022), and The Responder (BBC One 2021), as well as music videos for The Chemical Brothers (2022), Emeli Sandé (2021) and Rojaz (2020).

Recent stage credits include Pistol in Henry V Schools Tour (Donmar Warehouse 2023), Roderigo in Othello (Frantic Assembly 2022/23) and the lead in Peter Pan (Alban Arena 2021).

Felipe has been a practitioner for Frantic Assembly since 2019, engaging and exploring the Frantic Method with performing arts students nationally and internationally. He is also a co-founder and Artistic Director of physical theatre company Buried Thunder and was part of New Adventures’ Overture cohort 2020/21.


Hannah Sinclair Robinson (Grete)

Hannah Sinclair Robinson is a London based actor and trained at East 15 Acting School and Bath Spa University. Her work in theatre includes: Bianca in Othello on the 2022 UK Tour for Frantic Assembly, Mrs Shears/Mrs Gascoyne in The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time on the 2021/22 UK & Ireland Tour for NTP; Rockets and Blue Light sat the National Theatre; Helena in A Midsummer Nights Dream for Shakespeare in the Squares, Mandela in Water, Bread and Salt for Tangle International, Annette in Timothy at Vault Festival for Joyous Guard and Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet for Shakespeare in the Squares.TV includes Doctors, Eastenders, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Killer Cops. Films include Urban Decay.


Frantic Assembly

Award winning theatre company Frantic Assembly’s method of devising theatre has been impacting theatrical practice and unlocking the creative potential of future theatre-makers for nearly 30 years. One of the most exciting theatre companies in the UK, Frantic Assembly is led by Artistic Director and co-founder Scott Graham and Executive Director Kerry Whelan. It has toured extensively across Great Britain and worked in more than 40 countries internationally, collaborating with some of today’s most inspiring artists.

Frantic Assembly is currently studied as a leading contemporary theatre practitioner on five British and international academic syllabuses. The success of the company’s distinct approach has influenced contemporary theatre-making and foregrounded the use of movement directors and choreographers in new dramatic works. With a history of commissioning writers such as Simon Stephens, Abi Morgan, Bryony Lavery, Anna Jordan and Mark Ravenhill, the company has been acclaimed for its collaborative approach.

Frantic Assembly’s flagship initiative Ignition, a free nationwide talent development programme for young people aged 16-24, seeks out under-represented talent and provides opportunities for young people to discover what is possible, increasing involvement in and access to the arts in places of low cultural engagement.

Frantic Assembly productions include Othello (UK Tour), I Think We Are Alone (UK Tour), The Unreturning (UK Tour), Fatherland (Manchester International Festival 2017 and Lyric Hammersmith Theatre 2018), Things I Know To Be True (UK and Australia), Beautiful Burnout (UK, Australia, New Zealand and New York), Lovesong (UK and Australia) and The Believers. They are also the Movement Directors on the award-winning National Theatre of Great Britain, production The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (West End, Broadway, UK & International Tours). Television credits include Movement Direction on BAFTA winning British – American series Humans (AMC, Channel 4 & Kudos).

Frantic Assembly is supported by the Arts Council England

Theatre Royal Plymouth

Theatre Royal Plymouth is a registered charity providing art, education and community engagement throughout Plymouth and the wider region. We engage and inspire many communities through performing arts and we aim to touch the lives and interests of people from all backgrounds. We do this by creating and presenting a breadth of shows on a range of scales, with our extensive creative engagement programmes, by embracing the vitality of new talent and supporting emerging and established artists, and by collaborating with a range of partners to provide dynamic cultural leadership for the city of Plymouth.

Recent productions and co-productions include Waldo’s Circus of Magic & Terror (with Extraordinary Bodies and Bristol Old Vic), HAPPY MEAL by Tabby Lamb (with Roots), Still Floating by Shôn Dale-Jones, Every Word Was Once An Animal (with Ontroerend Goed, Perpodium, Kunstencentrum Vooruit and Richard Jordan Productions) Breathless by Laura Horton, Delicate (with Extraordinary Bodies and Nordland Visual Theatre), Today I Killed My Very First Bird (with Voodoo Monkeys), Sorry, You’re Not A Winner by Samuel Bailey (with Paines Plough), MUM by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (with Francesca Moody Productions and Soho Theatre, in association with Popcorn Group), NHS The Musical by Nick Stimson and Jimmy Jewell, Amsterdam by Maya Arad Yasur (with Actors Touring Company and Orange Tree Theatre), I Think We Are Alone by Sally Abbott (with Frantic Assembly), The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel (with Told By An Idiot), One Under by Winsome Pinnock (with Graeae), The Unreturning by Anna Jordan (with Frantic Assembly) and You Stupid Darkness! by Sam Steiner (with Paines Plough).

Theatre Royal Plymouth specialises in the production of new plays alongside the presentation of a broad range of theatre – including classic and contemporary drama, musicals, opera, ballet and dance. We have three performance spaces – The Lyric, The Drum and The Lab. TRP has a strong track record of presenting and producing international work from companies and artists including Ontroerend Goed, Big In Belgium at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Robert Lepage and the late Yukio Ninagawa. In March 2019, TRP unveiled Messenger, the UK’s largest lost wax bronze sculpture created by the artist Joseph Hillier.



Curve is one of the UK’s leading producing theatres. Each year over 750,000 people engage with Curve through performances and projects at our home in Leicester, across the UK and internationally. Under the leadership of Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster, Curve has developed an international reputation for producing, programming and touring a bold and diverse programme of musicals, plays, new work, dance and opera. All of this is presented alongside a dynamic mix of community engagement, artist development and learning programmes, which firmly places audiences, artists and communities at the heart of everything we do. We believe everyone who lives, works or learns in our city should have access to great art and culture.

Curve-originated productions frequently tour the UK and are seen in London’s West End. This year, our productions of Grease and The Wizard Of Oz play London’s Dominion and Palladium theatres respectively and Curve scores a hat trick when 42nd Street travels to London and visits Sadler’s Wells. On Your Feet! (London Coliseum), Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ – The Musical (The Ambassadors Theatre), White Christmas (Dominion Theatre) and Sister Act (Eventim Apollo Hammersmith) have all recently flown the flag for Leicester in London.

Other recent Made at Curve productions and co-productions include Frantic Assembly’s Othello, the ‘masterpiece’ (The Times) new UK production of Billy Elliot The Musical (winner of Best Musical Production at the UK Theatre Awards and Best Regional Production at the WhatsOnStage Awards), Finding Home – Leicester’s Ugandan Asian Story At 50, the ‘world class’ (Daily Telegraph) A Chorus Line, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical (and on UK tour), Akram Khan’s The Jungle Book (and on UK and international tour), Tennessee Williams’ Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (and on UK tour), The Music Of Andrew Lloyd Webber, acclaimed streamed productions of The Color Purple and the ‘game-changer’ (The Telegraph) Sunset Boulevard, Giles Andreae and Guy Parker Rees’ Giraffes Can’t Dance, West Side Story, Hanif Kureishi’s My Beautiful Laundrette, John Osborne’s The Entertainer, the WhatsOnStage Award-winning ‘Best Regional Production’ of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (and on UK tour) and the world-premiere of Dougal Irvine’s adaptation of Riaz Khan’s Memoirs Of An Asian Football Casual.

Curve is supported using public funding by principal funders Arts Council England and Leicester City Council.

MAST Mayflower Studios

MAST Mayflower Studios (MAST) is Southampton’s leading creative producing theatre. It exists to provide a warm welcome and creative space for everyone, whether it’s those who have never been to the theatre before or those who want to be challenged or involved themselves.

MAST is bound by a common purpose, to provide inspiring experiences for everyone, whether that’s individuals or families who are new to theatre or for those already steeped in theatre’s culture and all that it offers.

MAST, which opened in 2021, is open to all even if it’s just for coffee or to meet in the city centre location and is deeply connected to its long-established sister Mayflower Theatre.


Lyric Hammersmith Theatre

The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre produces bold and relevant world-class theatre from the heart of Hammersmith, the theatre’s home for more than 125 years. Under the leadership of Artistic Director and CEO Rachel O’Riordan, it is committed to being vital to, and representative of, the local community and to being a major force in London and UK theatre, resulting in the creation of adventurous and acclaimed theatrical work. The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre has a national reputation for ground-breaking work to develop and nurture the next generation of talent, providing opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to discover the power of creativity. The theatre is West London’s largest creative hub working to deliver life-changing creative opportunities for thousands of young people. Right in the heart of Hammersmith, the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre is here for everyone.

In response to Metamorphosis’ run at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, Young Lyric in collaboration with Frantic Assembly, will deliver a schools’ response project for West London secondary schools. Using devising and physicality taken from the Frantic Method theatre students will explore the production themes over a series of free in school workshops. The response will culminate in a new schools’ performance at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre as part of a collaborative sharing of learning and ideas between theatres and educational institutions.

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