Monday, 29 December 2014

Golem - Review

Young Vic, London


Directed and written by Suzanne Andrade

Golem is this year's seasonal offering from the Young Vic, a multimedia production from the usually ground-breaking 1927 company. Based on Gustav Meyrink's Jewish Czech fable of 100 years ago, the story tells of a man-made creature that starts its existence under the control of its creator but evolves to break the shackles of its its command, going on to dominate the people around it. Sounds familiar? Around a hundred years prior to Meyrink, Mary Shelley explored a similar vein with Frankenstein.

Today's outing adds little to the tale, other than to update dilute its message. Suzanne Andrade's Golem suggests that our monster is the technology from the likes of Google, Apple and Amazon to which we have enslaved ourselves. Andrade may have a point but her argument never leaves a first base of childish simplicity and predictability. Where Meyrink's original yarn ended with the Golem's death, this version conveniently avoids that troublesome flaw in the adaptation.

Nonetheless, the show is worth seeing, as its production values are first class. Paul Barritt's animations, which include a nude claymation Golem (think of a hybrid Morph, cross-bred with John Holmes) along with montages drawn from familiar images are brilliantly conceived. The performances of the 5 strong company are honed to precision and their interactions with the projections of the Golem as well as their entire surrounding world are flawless. Lillian Henley's music (played live) adds a delicious dimension to the whole.

Runs until 31st January 2015

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