Golem is one of the most visually stimulating and thought-provoking pieces of theatre around at the moment. It is also a great deal of fun. The Golem is a creature found in Jewish folklore and dates back to medieval writings. Traditionally it is a creature made of clay that is brought to life with magic and there are many stories about how the Golem was brought to life and subsequently controlled.
1927 use the Golem to give an intellectual commentary on our current society, looking at the subtle and powerful forces that are influencing our choices, behaviours, actions and thoughts. The play combines acting and live music with animation and film to create a filmatic performance. The visuals are brilliant and the script very clever, full of subtle references to our every day, our social norms and our digital lives.
Set in an urban landscape that is a vivid backdrop of rich animated images, which remind us of the inner city streets of London and LA. The main character Robert is sold a Golem as the ultimate time-saving device and personal helper. Initially Golem is quiet and reactive but things start to change as Golem learns about his master and his master’s world. Very soon Golem is influencing Robert and his whole family. Under Golem’s influence they become swept up in the rampant consumerist lifestyle favoured by the corporations that produce Golem on a worldwide scale, a life that is the opposite of the one they had before. The Golem of this modern world is subtle, manipulative, invasive and seductive. It is constantly on hand as a friend and a helper. It understands us and helps us to interpret and the see the world around us, until we can’t leave home without it.
The play hilariously explores the manipulation of the masses, the corrosion of individual thought and pokes fun at how easy it is for corporations to manipulate us as they accumulate more information and understanding of our preferences, fears, desires and behaviour.
As Roberts say’s when justifying his Golem “….. he seems to know what I want before I do …..”
After a sell out run at The Young Vic in London Golem has transferred to the Trafalgar Studios in London for a limited run: 14 April – 22nd May. For more information go to: youngvic.org
For more information about 1927 go to: www.19-27.co.uk
Photography is by Bernhard Müller from the Young Vic’s digital channels.