Mary Zimmerman’s version of Ovid’s Metamorphoses is a dazzling gem filled with some of the most well-known myths and legends the Roman poet wrote in his masterpiece. Zimmerman plays with this literary prodigy with nearly reverential love and care, always trying to respect the beauty of Ovid’s language while at the same time creating an absolutely personal piece that rejuvenates and modernizes the narration of those verses. She thus achieves a fascinating, fun and exciting text that has become a small contemporary classic recognised with a number of awards including a Tony for Best Direction of a Play in 2002.
Ovid and Zimmerman tell us stories of gods, heroes, kings and wars, but also of love, vengeance, ambition, madness, jealousy and the most unbridled of passions. Metamorphoses realistically speaks of life and of how human beings coexist with their desires and their fears. Zimmerman tells us that today’s world also continues to be full of Midas, Phaetons, Orpheus and Apollos, proving that the validity of Ovid’s stories remains unchanged today.
A play as special as this one deserves to have a great cast and there is no doubt this has been achieved. Few productions in recent years in Spain have been able to rely on a list of actresses and actors as brilliant as the one that will be featured in these Metamorphoses. Being able to see them together on the stage at the Roman theatre in Mérida is in and of itself quite the event which will be talked about for a long time to come.