By Heidi Trautmann
People speak about our English School in Kyrenia, they recognize the values that are taught there; only last year I had the opportunity to visit and appreciate the art classes by Sharon Kennington and the awards that her art students got at an art competition in the southern part of the island. Now, that I have seen the play ‘Metamorphoses’ directed by Chloe Keller, a new drama teacher at the ESK, I have to express my appreciation again. There is somebody at work that is able to arouse the enthusiasm in 20 students to do a very ambitious play together, to excite them in a way that they give their absolute best in ‘Metamorphoses’ written by the playwright Mary Zimmermann on the basis of old myths. The original ‘Metamorphoses’ is a Latin narrative poem in fifteen books by the Roman poet Ovid, completed in AD 8, and is recognized as a masterpiece of Golden Age Latin literature. One of the most-read of all classical works during the Middle Ages, the Metamorphoses continues to exert a profound influence on Western culture.
So it says. The play is an adaption to our times, (also including the one story of Eros and Psyche by Lucius Apuleius’ book of transformation) but in the style of the old theatre, a Readers Theatre, a narrative told, a poem recited; it is the text and the language, the mimicry that is in the foreground. In the centre of the play was a pool full of water, the actors and actresses had to walk through – some of them had to go under in full length - as water plays an important role, a sort of submission, purification.
The crew realizing the play have spent all their time to build the stage and the pool, to design and create the costumes and to rehearse the play, so I am told by some parents.
The young actresses and actors did very well, 20 kids who played 48 roles, so most of them appeared in different roles of antiquity, beginning from Zeus, Bacchus to Poseidon; we heard Apollo and Orpheus speak and Hades from the Underworld. As the director Chloe Keller said… “Myths are the earliest form of science… but they are still valid today in its basic form. I have chosen the play for several reasons. Firstly Cyprus is an ancient place which holds in its nooks and crannies tales thousands of years old. Secondly, living on an island, the influence of water and movement and submission to nature is unavoidable. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly if we have learned anything from the story of Myrrha and Cinyras it is that one must pay attention to the goddess Aphrodite or she will smite you….”
Another thing Chloe mentioned: “In my parents’ house library I found books that were for grownups and others for children which I didn’t know until I was told so.” The children in this play are on the threshold to adulthood and they have a right to know all sides of humanity even their errors and to speak them out. Well done! A school for life!