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Golem at the Young Vic

Published 16 December 2014

What’s it all about?

On paper, this production is a witty and satirical look at man versus technology, asking the ever topical question: Are we controlling it or, as watching a million and one people glued to their iPhones on every commute would suggest, is it in fact controlling us?

In practice, Golem is about pure theatrical inventiveness. Take your seat at the Young Vic and you’ll embark on a fantastical, trippy, joyous ride into theatre company 1927’s thrilling, acid bright, vivid, exhilarating imagination. In short, I guarantee you this is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

So, how best to explain it? Imagine a silent film meets graphic novel, dizzying projections in place of a set and deadpan performances of a community of eccentric oddballs living in a time that is both dystopian and futuristic, and a throw back to what has come before. Still confused? Good. This is a production that deserves to be seen to be believed.

Who’s in it?

A cast of five take on numerous roles to play everyone from the gadget-loving, nerdy Robert to his equally dull co-workers who spend their days crunching binary code, a series of gruesomely depicted burlesque performers to the madcap inventor of the titular Golems, clay men who will follow your every command.

Stealing the show, however, is Esme Appleton as Robert’s politically-driven sister who casts her cynical eye and hilariously dry wit over proceedings as technology encroaches on everyone’s lives but hers, creating a tribe of lazy, apathetic and zombiefied clones. Luckily she has her revolutionary punk band Annie And The Underdogs to vent her frustrations.

What should I look out for?

Paul Barritt’s incredible animations that take inspiration from Richard Hamilton’s iconic pop art collages to create a staggeringly inventive, fast-moving setting for 1927’s fable-like tale.

In a nutshell?

Listen up because we don’t say this lightly: This is like nothing you’re likely to have ever seen before.

What’s being said on Twitter?

@BeccaMeriel My brain is fizzing from seeing the utterly extraordinary Golem @youngvictheatre. Can’t describe it adequately just GO & SEE!

@KeithWinestein The Young Vic production of Golem has to be seen to believed. I don’t think I have ever seen anything quite so creative and remarkable.

Will I like it?

Technically brilliant, visually spectacular, impressively choreographed and stunningly inventive, 1927’s innovative Golem may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for anyone looking to shake things up and end 2014 with a staggeringly different theatrical experience, it’s a must see. Seriously, go and see it. Now.

Golem is playing until 31 January at the Young Vic Theatre. You can book tickets through the theatre’s website.

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