“I love Katherine, but I don’t think I could ever love Tyler.”
Transfiguration is a heart-warming and heart-breaking theatre piece about embracing one’s true self, no matter the cost.
We follow Katherine, a twenty-something struggling with leaving their old name behind and forming a new life as Tyler. The only problem – having to tell people.
Jasmine Valentini as Tyler captures the emotional turmoil one goes through in coming out to a seemingly accepting world.
Valentini’s portrayal is anxious, yet relatable and approachable. Her interpretation of a troubled youth met with constant disapproval evokes an organic sense of nerves and dread each time Tyler reveals his secret to a new party.
With a lack of trans-centric art readily available, it’s a greatly appreciated and welcomed gesture to have a transitioning person as the play’s focus who can openly discuss what they and others are experiencing.
Transfiguration is a step in the right direction, however, while viewing I couldn’t help feeling unfulfilled. I was hoping for a more nuanced approach, something (forgive the pun) transcendent.
The piece plays like an introduction for those unfamiliar with trans people and the transitioning process, rather than a deeper insight into the life of a trans male. I feel this was a missed opportunity.
That being said, each character plays such an integral role in Tyler’s life and builds our protagonist’s world with immaculate detail.
With standout performances from Keely Maloney and Taylor Beilby as Tyler’s parents, they capture the disjunct family dynamic exceptionally, adding layers of realism to an already crystal-clear reflection of our world. From radical research to practising pronouns, Maloney and Beilby are a pleasure to watch.
Transfiguration will make you think, smile and listen. A delightfully emotional yet comedic approach to the acceptance issue plaguing our society. A modern tale that confronts the viewer with the realisation that sometimes it’s the ones you love that can be the most hateful.