With its title "The Bee," this work co-written in 2006 by leading dramatist Hideki Noda and Irish playwright Colin Teevan immediately brought to mind Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis" and the ghastly, unbidden and unexplained changes to which the protgonist of that seminal novella is subjected.

In this play inspired by a short story from science-fiction master Yasutaka Tsutsui, though, the changes Mr. Ido undergoes before our eyes are all too well explained as he strives in vain to return to his life's scuttled normality.

Performed last week in English with French subtitles at the Theatre de Chaillot in Paris, the stage at this grand venue across the River Seine from the Eiffel Tower at first seemed small and bare and reminiscent of an experimental or university theater — except that through the soaring plate-glass windows the tower was perfectly framed and lit in the late-evening spring light. The light of going home.