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Golem

Directed by Suzanne Andrade

1927

HOME, 7 October 2015

Golem

Golem @ HOME. Photo by Bernhard Müller.

This turned out to be one of those unfortunate cases where more is less, and you have difficulty in seeing the sculpture for the stone.

Golem does look terrific, that’s the first thing to say, what with Paul Barritt’s eerie and ever so slightly unnerving graphics. There is a dystopian landscape that is finely wrought, and homunculi make an appearance – always a good thing. The arch, off kilter characters are amusing, and the way the actors blend gesture and action with what takes place on screen takes an immense amount of skill, one can appreciate that as well. Yet there are problems…

For starters, there’s an awful lot of clutter and padding and repetition here. It takes a while before we actually get to the golem, the golem being kind of the point of the show. When he does arrive, turns out he’s a harmless duffer. One expected, or hoped for, a note of disquiet or even dread. Or just deadpan weird, as in Edward Gorey’s The Doubtful Guest; that would have done me. But no – instead we get jokes, and student-quality jokes at that. The topical references – to the Daily Mail, that Cumberbatch bloke, an image of Boris Johnson – only serve to dilute the effect of Paul Barritt’s excellent graphics.

We got far too much repetition (am I repeating myself?); and overlong repetition at that. As a for-instance: how many times do we get to see Robert winding his way towards work? Anyway, the very last time was extremely tiresome.

It was a pity, really, since 1927’s production of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea remains a memorable experience and they retain a distinctive approach to theatre.

Golem is showing at HOME until 17 October, further details can be found here.

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