About Time You Saw: GolemBy Gilly Hopper
‘Our world is one of controlled choice and institutionalised individualism.’ A 1927 / Young Vic production, Golem reinterprets Gustav Mayrink’s play by the same name – an early 20th century concern for the demonic just FYI – in this fresh and impactful multimedia experience. Demonizing the technological advancements of modern and urban living, Golem explores how our inclusion within the technological ‘superstate’ has become compulsory. Directed and written by Suzanne Andrade, the West End transfer takes an unsettling and provoking glimpse at ‘essential’ electronics.
1927’s Golem explores grotty urbanite living with more enthusiasm than a Haggerston flatshare. Presenting graphic zine-like backdrops, Paul Barritt’s stunning animations draw inspiration from downtown LA, creating a hotchpotch cityscape of streets, franchised coffee shops and dive bars. A visual treat, Barritt’s digital sketches are dopplegangers for artist Quentin Jones design aesthetic. Collaging images in a playful manner, the show’s multimedia interchange supports and propels the central narrative, lending to the characters of Golem, Golem 2 and Golem 3.
In a state of technological flux, Golem presents a social commentary of the modern world. Encompassing dating apps, fashion trends and time management, the need for speed and renewal seems an increasingly vital prerequisite in daily living. While we may be glad of fast paced, efficient systems in the office, friendly reminders of looming deadlines and Google alerts, planning and prioritizing are personal life seems over calculated and overprescribed. Purchasing a Golem will allow you lots of free time, leisure time, me time; but how efficiently do we need to live?
For those familiar with online dating -Tinder, Grinder, Hinge, Happn et al – the ‘Courtogram’ is a farcical indication of our saturated pursuit for ‘love.’ One of the productions most playful scenes explores the options of speed dating and double dating and highlights how computers ‘perfect matches’ can be anything but. Paralleled by the pure, but ill-fated, love story of protagonist Robert and his colleague, Joy, crisscrossed love interests flutter amongst members of their unsuccessful garage band ‘Annie and the Underdogs’ to no avail.
Cleverly distancing the cast from any distinctly visual similarities with its audience, cartoon like characters appear on stage. Dressed in primary colours wearing kitsch wigs, designed by Sarah Munro, the 5-strong cast materializes as creations from someone’s imagination; etchings brought to life. Subverting our grasp of modern living, this original and quirky production will reevaluate your perspective on how happy technology actually makes us. Questioning your iPhone’s automatic updates and how exactly your photos miraculously synced to multiple devices without your authorization, Golem asks the question, ‘do we control technology or does it control us?’
Photography by Bernhard MÅller