Paying homage to Shakespeare’s genius but not slavishly binding themselves to it, Golem! sticks up two fingers at Shakespeare purists who, with quivering voices, clutch their pearls and gasp, “But the text!”
This is a pretty piece of expressionistic theatre that pleases the eyes and ears, but its favouring of poetic ambiguity and metaphor over concrete details and characterisation creates emotional distance. It’s difficult to find sympathy for a psychopath when their childhood trauma is nostalgically romanticised or vaguely alluded to when we see so little of them directly.
Charlotte von Mahlsdorf was a collector and museum curator in East Berlin who survived WWII and the the Stasis, and murdered her abusive father when she was a teenager. More remarkably, she was transgender. I Am My Own Wife is primarily her biography and a tribute to her achievements, but also the research process by playwright Doug Wright.