The story begins with a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, waking to find himself transformed into a "monstrous vermin".
A stage adaptation was performed by Steven Berkoff in 1969. Another stage adaptation was performed in 2006 by the Icelandic company Vesturport, showing at the Lyric Hammersmith, London. That adaptation is set to be performed in the Icelandic theater fall of 2008. Another stage adaptation was performed in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2005 by the Centre for Asian Theatre. That performance is still continuing in Bangladesh. The Lyric Theatre Company toured the UK in 2006 with its stage adaptation of Metamorphosis, accompanied by a unique soundtrack performed by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.