Doo-Cot, The Golem

Review in Issue 15-4 | Winter 2003

Watching Doo Cot was an intellectually provocative experience that created a good deal of discussion. Here is a solo show exploring the Jewish myth of the creation, actions and death of the Golem through a jaring mix of puppetry, live action, video and music.

The influence of Tadeusz Kantor on Nenagh Watson’s work was strik ing as she manipulated the boundaries between puppets as objects and puppets as ‘live’ characters. This ensured the audience never achieved any real sense of empathy with the protagonists, leaving some of the interactions ‘soulless’. Watson was at times engaging, although her deliberate arrest of the transitions by disappearing for periods of time and extending scene changes allowed the audience time to lose focus and I found myself failing to invest in the performance. Subsequently her final monologue, in full house lights, lacked any power and seemed too divorced from the need to communicate with the audience, rather than purge a personal emotion.

Sharing the stage with Watson were accompanist Sylvia Hallett and video artist Rachael Field. This foregrounding of the technical elements reflected the deliberate repic approach to the performance; unfortunately several interactions felt clumsy and lacked imagination. The musical score, performed on a varlety of instruments, highlighted the narrative’s root as an oral legend. The multiple video images projected on stage were most successful when ‘doubling the live action, although others were lost in the general mélée.

As a male observer, the descrip tion of Doo Cot’s work as ‘unmistak ably female’ provoked a variety of thoughts and feelings while watching. leaving me unsure as to my supposed critical stance. I found several interesting theatrical conundrums to take away, but lacked certainty of the performance’s relevance to the world.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 2003

This article in the magazine

Issue 15-4
p. 25