Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre, Tue 8 Mar
The story of the Golem is as old as the ages, and 1927’s attempt at an update presents itself as an observation of the modern-day obsession with shiny labour-saving technology. And it is nothing short of brilliant.
The performance manages to combine elements of the last hundred years’ popular culture, from Fritz Lang to Monkey Dust, and merges all of these influences into something never quite seen before. The audience is transported to a world where everything is familiar, yet nothing is normal. This is an aural and, especially, a visual feast. The story and the action are augmented by atmospheric live music, colourful costumes and wondrous animation to provide ninety minutes of joyous entertainment, albeit with a slightly darker undercurrent – commenting on the dangers of relying too heavily on high-tech gadgetry, and on the riskiness of placing trust in those who foist these seemingly indispensable items upon us.
It is an incredible accomplishment that a large part of the sumptuous action being witnessed is taking place on a two-dimensional plane. The lines between live action and animation are almost completely eradicated. Golem is thoughtful, hilarious, clever and poignant, sometimes in very quick succession. It pays to pay attention.
Amusingly, Golem’s rather clear message is somewhat missed by members of the student group in the balcony, who spend much of their evening consulting their smartphones. Life imitates art…
The performance appropriately concludes with three curtain calls, and the applause is warm, genuine and well-earned.
Golem is an absolute credit to anyone and everyone who has been involved in the creative process. Technically and artistically, Golem is a triumph; it is staggeringly good.
Miss this and you ought to kick yourself. Twice.
Golem continues at Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre, at various times, until Sun 13 Mar.
Book at BASS on 131 246 and bass.net.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.
Image courtesy of Bernhard Mueller