Tuesday, 3 June 2014

1984 at The Playhouse Theatre

Not your average play, this stage production will blow your senses away. The stage opens with a book club discussing the novel and with a blink of the eye the scene changes and we are in Big Brother's world. 

Mark Arends and Hara Yannas as Winston and Julia respectively, are superb. They convince the audience and have us guessing even if we know the story. The secondary characters are also very well acted.  Orwell's themes of a regimental society, a world of voyeurism and the downsizing of vocabulary, are all explored in a creative way. 

The lighting is extremely effective and has to be commended. The flash lights paired with the roaring sound effects mean you will be holding on to the edge of your seat. The set designs must also be mentioned, changing quickly from a gathering around a table to a bedroom with surveillance and later to the dreaded Room 101. 

A real being thrown into the atmosphere kind of denouement, your nerves will be as shaky as poor Winston's. With no interval, it is intense and the final scenes are stifling, yet you will be compelled to watch. 

This production is every bit as chilling as Orwell describes in the original novel.  Not for the faint hearted, it will remain with you for a long time. A magnificent take on Orwell's novel on dystopia. 


Mark Arends, Hara Yannas, Tim Dutton, Stephen Fewell, Christopher Patrick Nolan, Matthew Spencer, Gavin Spokes and Mandi Symonds.
Lighting, sound and video design by Natasha Chivers, Tom Gibbons and Tim Reid 

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