Golem

Golem is brought into the 20th century and created to protect the Ghettos of Nazi occupied Prague. On the creature’s forehead is the Hebrew Star of David, but rather than being the symbol of oppression that the Nazis required all Jews to wear, it is the source of his power.

A powerful, mesmerising piece of theatre performed with grit and plenty of spit, and still relevant today with the recently reported resurgence of anti-semitic attitudes

The piece is split into two acts, originally written with an interval and now running together. The actor changes from the created one to the creator himself and the second act sees Rabbi Loew tell his own side of the story. Both characters are complete contrasts in appearance and action. While Golem is slow and clumsy, the longhaired, bearded Rabbi is quick-witted and clever, telling Jewish inspired jokes that are genuinely funny.

Luke Dixon directs the piece with honest intensity and Bob Bryan’s spotlighting of the joke-telling Rabbi helps to lift the mood of the second portion of the play. The plain, mud-splattered set is cleverly and economically designed by Stephanie Carr-Gomm, although the costume change drags on and could have been tied together with music, or by actually seeing the transformation take place, as an empty stage is not interesting to look at even if it is only for a minute.

If you are not familiar with the story of Golem, then educate yourself as to where the original legend of Frankenstein comes from and, whatever you do, don’t confuse it with Lord of the Rings as that’s a different creature altogether. A powerful, mesmerising piece of theatre performed with grit and plenty of spit, and still relevant today with the recently reported resurgence of anti-semitic attitudes. Where is Golem when you need him?

Reviews by Christine Kempell

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