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Golem

Published 23 April 2015

What’s it all about?

For starters, the Golem of the title is absolutely nothing to do with J R R Tolkien and his troupe of hobbits, dwarfs and elves. It’s pronounced Go Lum and a golem is a clay man – imagine a swollen Morph with broad shoulders – designed to obey its master’s every request. In this case, that master is Robert Robertson, an ordinary, slightly awkward man who purchases said invention from an entrepreneurial acquaintance.

As time goes on, like every other technological creation we’ve seen evolve from cumbersome brick to wafer thin pocket piece, upgraded versions arrive that are more compact, more efficient but, just as the digital age has taken hold in our own lives – I’m typing this, eyes down on my iPhone, just like 90% of the passengers on this Central Line carriage – the golem begins to take over.

Transferring to the West End from the Young Vic, this 1927 (the company, not the year) creation is billed as “Mixing live performance and music with film and animation”, which it does, very well, but that still doesn’t capture the extraordinary inventiveness achieved in this visually striking, beautifully imagined feat of theatre.

Who’s in it?

A cast of five incredible performers play more than 15 roles throughout the course of the 90-minute production. Shamira Turner, the only cast member to focus her talents on just one character, takes on the role of Robert, who evolves from nobody to somebody with the help of his golem, but at the cost of his friends.

From Charlotte Dubery’s technology-detesting Annie, who takes out her hatred through her ‘political’ music, to Rose Robinson’s timid and unambitious Joy, each and every actor adopts a diverse and quirky range of vocal and physical attributes to bring Golem’s unique characters to life.

What should I look out for?

The flawless timing – down to the nanosecond – that sees the performers and projections come together in complete visual harmony.

In a nutshell?

Cutting edge theatre company 1927 brings immense creativity to the West End with a show that is altogether different from anything that you’ve ever seen on stage before.

What’s being said on Twitter?

@AdrianLester #golem @TrafStudios via @youngvictheatre Brilliant piece of work by an incredibly talented cast and crew.  Should have full houses. Loved it

@ReeceShearsmith Just saw “Golem” at the Trafalgar Studios. Excellent, haunting, dazzling and brilliantly executed theatre. Go!

Will I like it?

This is a show that pushes the boundaries of theatre. A show that explores the boundless potential of technology and uses many of its forms – film, projections – to do so. Traditionalists may not consider it their cup of tea but I for one am watching this space – by which I mean Theatreland – for more theatre like this in the future.

Golem is playing at the Trafalgar Studio 1 until 22 May. You can book tickets through the Young Vic’s website.

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