Golemanual is a story about a man and his hands, their way from slavery to freedom and back...

The hands of a sign language speaking ant researcher escape his body in the middle of a lecture. The hands flee to their own subconscious space. This fantasy world is like an anthill where a civilized team of hand-scientists is in a process of creating a wild hand. Is the wild hand able to stay untamed in the civilized crowd? What happens to the hands on their journey back to the researcher's body?

Strong, dream-like pictures of life and death are being drawn to the darkness of the theatre, and the small stage is filled with constantly changing hand creatures. Golemanual discusses the relationship between the wild individual and civilized society. The performance is also an artistic research on the possibility of parts of our body to perform in their "own roles" as concrete and independent characters.

The team:

Direction: Ishmael Falke
Script: the collective subconscious
Puppets: Elina Putkinen, Maiju Tainio, Hanna Hietala and Ishmael Falke
Stage design: Ishmael Falke
Light and sound design: Ishmael Falke

Golemanual had it´s premiere at the Fanatik Figuras puppet theatre festival in Turku, Finland, in May 2005. Since that it has been performed in many international puppet theatre festivals, among others: Mustan ja Valkoisen theatre festival in Imatra, Finland; Arrivano Dal Mare puppet theatre festival in Italy; Barents puppetry festival in Kalix, Sweden; Baltic Cities Culture festival in St. Petersburg, Russia; international puppetry festivals in Bialystok and Wroclaw in Poland, Versuchung puppetry festival in Berlin; Gegen über neben an puppet theatre festival in Munich; Hangö Teaterträff in Hanko, Finland and Galicreques puppet theatre festival in Santiago del Compostela, Spain.

Golemanual has won the awards of the best show of the year and the most interesting debut of the year in the world's most significant international competition for professional puppetry shows in Wroclaw, Poland.

Duration of the show is 40 minutes, and it suits all spectators from the age of 10 and up.

Extracts from a review in Turun Sanomat (11.05.2005):

"Golemanual is an abundance of imagination."

"The performance grows to be a breathtaking play on the circle of mythicism. The performance combines hand theatre and light design and baffles with its richness of ideas."

"I was spellbound by the performance."

Erkki Kanerva, Turun Sanomat

Extract from the Fanatic Figuras festival's evaluator's review (14.05.2005):

"Golemanual is puppetry and visual multi-form theatre of most readable kind, open to personal interpretations of any spectator, young or old, here or elsewhere in the world. An intense tempo and quick variations of the arm-hand-puppets, materials sizes and scales form a little universe of images about the struggle for life in different levels.

The simple stage with its pit is as metaphoric as is the very conscious choices made on acting, puppets, materials and lightning. Proportions and rhythmic are well balanced in an impressive performance."

Margareta Sörensson

Extract from a review in Imatra's Uutisvuoksi (11.06.2005):

"Golemanual has shown, how expressive hands can be (...) on the small stage of the Imatra theatre the scales and sizes are forgotten (...) even the smallest, finest movements of the hand is enough to create a living illusion"

Asko Jaakonaho, Uutisvuoksi

Extract from review in the Polish puppetry magazine Teatr Lalek (July 2006):

"The jury did not have any problem with granting the prize (...) in the beautiful and rare poetic of the theatre of hands, and with a perfect mastery of techniques and theatrical skills as well as picturesque sets, this tale, translated into another tongue, achieved the merits of a universal parable about freedom, alienation, and relations between the individual and society"

Extract from review in Munich :

An abstract, existentialistic battle wages in the breath-taking fingertheatre performance Golemanual. The Finnish-Israeli sixfingers theatre proves it is worth its name with rapic, seemingly unlimited movements of the fingers, under a strict light design.”

Von Teresa Grenzmann

Extract from review in Nytid ( 24/2007)

The entity is highly suggestive, carrying sharply focused existentialistic emotion, dealing with the fundaments of our social relations, the question about freedom and slavery. Themes of tyranny and straight oppression are also dealt with. Both theme and form express great artistic courage.”

This form of theatre has a poetical touch to all thematical brutality.”

Monika Homström

Extract from review in Hufvudstadsbladet (July 11th, 2007)

Golemanual is an extremely visual story of the battle between good and evil, oppression and emancipation, in which the hands and fingers are moving magically and rhythmically, expressing varying emotions and actions.”

Elisabeth Nordgren

Photos taken by Kari Vainio