Presented by 1927
Reviewed 8 March 2016
Golem presents a multimedia theatre experience. While Golem was first performed in Europe in 2014, it enjoyed its Australian premiere this Festival season – to wild approval from audiences.
Golem is the brainchild of English production company 1927, which over the past decade has won multiple awards for its shows which combine performance, music, and animation on stage.
Everything in Golem was highly stylised, from the actors’ make-up to their body language. The dialogue often rhymed and was delivered in harmony with the live music, which comprised of keyboard and drums. Hand drawn backgrounds were projected onto a whiteboard behind the actors, creating a different setting for each scene. The actors used physical and projected props interchangeably, and the titular character Golem only appeared on projections through recorded Claymation. Every minute movement was rehearsed and perfected to create a seamless interaction with the projections.
In many ways Golem was reminiscent of silent films, especially those from the German Expressionist era. These films used abstract, hand painted backgrounds and exaggerated body language to convey themes and emotions to the viewer. 1927 has brought this premise into the twenty-first century.
Golem was inspired by the Jewish fable of a man who fashions a clay creature to work as his servant. 1927’s story follows Robert and his family, and how their lives are changed forever when Robert buys his first Golem from local inventor Phil Sylocate. Previously content with his processing job at the Binary Backup Department, Robert allows himself to be influenced by his Golem and soon becomes crazed with professional and social ambition. The sinister Go Company take over Sylocate’s workshop and begin producing Golems on a mass scale. Their marketing slogan reads, “Do you want to be a nobody, or an everybody?” As Golems become more and more popular, individuality slowly disappears.
Writer and director Suzanne Andrade, and designer Paul Barritt must be praised for this unique artistic feat – which makes not-so-subtle comments on our society’s reliance on technology. Golem is an unforgettable experience, though may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Reviewed by Nicola Woolford
Venue: Dunstan Playhouse
Season: 8th March – 13th March
Duration: 90 mins
Tickets: $30.00 – $59.00
Bookings: Book through Bass (booking fees apply)