Saturday, 26 July 2014

Orwell's "1984" theatre production at The Playhouse

Tuesday night I dabbled in being a little more sophisticated and refined that what I usually am, and along with my lovely friend Frenchy, we headed to the Playhouse Theatre on Northumberland Avenue to watch an adaptation of George Orwell's 1984

The Playhouse 

In all honesty, I hadn't really read that much into the reviews, nor what the play was about, but I love Orwell's book so I just booked it. I had assumed that it was going to be the book on stage, chapter by chapter and no deviation from the plot but I was pleasantly surprised. If you don't want to know then you might want to stop reading this blog post for today! 

ticket for 1984 

The play does follow the story line of 1984, following the lives of Winston and Julia but cleverly flips from 1984 to 100 years in the future, where a small book club are discussing the meaning behind 1984, yet Winston in there in the future too, confused as to where he is as he can still hear Big Brother. 

The scenes dramatically flip from 1984 to the future book club, with an amazing use of lighting, white noise and the cast's incredible ability to stand like statues, portraying a sense of stopping in time. The production also makes a very clever use of video cameras, something I haven't really seen on stage before. It really added to the sense that "Big Brother is watching you" as if you were spying on Winston and Julia through a tv screen. 

The only part I wasn't so keen on was I found that Winston's acting was sometimes a tad monotone and wooden, but I suppose that could have been deliberate for the character?! Also, if you go to this play without having read the book, I think in all honesty it'll will lose you from the start, so only fans or readers of 1984 should go really. 

our view of the stage 

I also loved the way the actors were so suggestive that you didn't even have to see what was going on to see it or feel it, for example, the room 101 scenes at the end didn't depict any violence, but by that point in the play, you were so engrossed that event the actor's suggestion of it, had me wincing. 

With the strobe lighting, eerie atmosphere and scary noises, this is quite possibly one of the most frightening things I have ever watched, even more so that The Woman in Black (which I saw last year). It was so clever (with a cast of just 8 people), this play was and chilling and nothing like I was expecting. 

If you get the chance, see it! 

X x X 

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