24 October 2017
Earlier this week, a few first and second years (including me) went along to the Playhouse Theatre in Liverpool to see a production of Golem: an original play by the theatre company ‘1927’, first performed in 2014. I was slightly tentative at first because I’d only seen the trailer for it which didn’t really give much away, but soon found myself laughing along and forgetting my hesitancy due to the visual spectacle in front of me.
Golem is based on the myth The Golem, which tells the tale of a man who fashions a creature made of clay to complete his work for him. This is a good starting point, but Golem develops it further as a metaphor for consumerism and technology’s increasingly tightening hold on the human race.
1927’s website says “Located in a fictional yet familiar world, where technology and the market economy have evolved to a point of transcending the boundaries of human control, Golem has become a must have, indispensable ingredient for a better life. But its very existence threatens the prospect of those who created it.”
Golem centres around a family whose youngest son, Robert, buys a Golem from an inventor. At first the Golem performs every-day tasks like helping him at work, but gradually takes over making important decisions.
The starring role of the show is surprisingly not just the actors (who are phenomenal), but the projector/technicians as well. The whole performance focuses around projections as a physical Golem is never shown. Using a plain backdrop with a door for entrances and exits, the Golem, along with the setting, is projected onto it: an ingenious and unique method of telling a story. It’s an exciting mix of live acting, animation and music.
Music - that’s something I wasn’t expecting. It’s not quite a musical, but there are definitely quite a few songs. You’ll have ‘Annie and the Underdogs’ (the fictional band within the play) stuck in your head for weeks! All of the music is very comical, and a great addition to the performance. Along with the music, there was also some funny dialogue. The grandmother is blunt with her opinions (one of the first lines of dialogues is this sweet old woman calling her grandchildren’s father a ‘tosser’), and the Golem becomes obsessed with Benedict Cumberbatch, asking if he’s on the TV even if they’re watching the news.
It’s a highly symbolic and expressionistic play: there’s not a single prop or person without good reason for them being there. Everything is used to help move the story along and create an engaging and thought-provoking piece of theatre, which I would highly recommend seeing if you have the chance.
by Becca Thomson
Posted by The BSFC Blogger
Category: The Student Voice