I went to see “Golem” a performance by a leading theatre company known as “1927” in Manchester’s new “HOME” theatre on the 15th October. At first I didn’t know what to expect, I saw images of the production online and thought, this looks different! The actors interact with animations, which are projected onto the background. The style of the animations and characterizations of the actors was very surreal. I knew it wouldn’t be a typical theatre performance like lion king, but I didn’t expect it to be so bizarre.
The story follows Robert, an estranged and nerdy loner who works in an office job with other strange people. One day Robert decides to purchase a “Golem”. A Golem is a clay sculpture (presented as an animation) similar to ‘Morph’. Golem’s walk and talk and were made to obey their owners. Golem was set to obey Robert’s every command, but as the story progresses it shows how Golem ‘updates’ itself and becomes more forceful in its suggestions. Timid Robert then becomes too dependent on Golem to the point where Golem starts to dictate his every thought – from his love life to his job, to his hobbies. The concept of the story was very captivating and I could see a clear reflection of Golem symbolising a Smartphone. The story of Golem is easily relatable to modern day and shows how technology is starting to control us. It shows how the development of technology is quickly expanding and we don’t know who is in control of it. As the story goes on, Robert’s personality changes into a self-obsessed sociopath, which shows the negative effect Golem has on his persona.
The visuals in Golem were like nothing I have ever seen before. It was truly amazing to watch. The ‘trippy’ graphics along with the music created such an atmosphere that you felt like you were in the animated world with them. It was such a new experience; the combination of physical theatre and interactive animations was done brilliantly. The actors were so in sync that it was as though they were sometimes part of the background. There wasn’t a moment when my eyes weren’t drawn to the stage. It was truly captivating.
Although I didn’t always understand the estranged humour of the play, I could still appreciate the visuals and the message. It was an overall great experience.