An incredibly well known author and with good reason, 1984, along with Animal farm is probably one of his most significant works which to this day is considered a unique masterpiece, whether it be for his scarily accurate predictions of the far future or his timeless bleak representation of society. 1984 as a novel is a whole other world itself and one I will hopefully gather the courage to write about someday. However this post is specifically about the play adaptation in the Playhouse theatre in London.
Being somewhat of a theatre virgin (not counting disney related shows), I did not know what to expect of 1hr and 40 minutes of uninterrupted theatre on such a complex and chilling novel. To be honest, I didn’t think they could possibly do the novel justice or all the crazy feelings it transmitted to me and its many other readers. As TimeOut very eloquently put, this show is perfect for “anyone suffering of political cynicism” and how very true this was, as someone who has a serious case of this political cynicism, the play temporarily carried out my need to word and play it out.
The start of the show startled me, it slightly confused me for a while and it took some time for me to understand what was happening, I can only imagine this would be case even more so for someone who hasn’t read the book. As soon as I got the hang of it I was hooked, I could not take my eyes off the stage and my heart was racing with excitement, something that rarely happens at movies. Any empty voids left by the novel were excellently fulfilled by the performance and its ability to bring such a story to life so realistically, the actors were flawless and took on the characters better than I could have ever imagined.
Seeing the show live was magical and something I haven’t experienced with any movie adaptations of my favourite novels, it made it more realistic and made me feel a part of it. I came out of the show feeling ecstatic and wanting to share it with the rest of the world, I would have loved to debate the concepts of the show/novel with anyone at that moment. I would strongly recommend to read the novel before watching the play as you might not be able to appreciate it in the same manner, it is also not a happy play but a rather strong one with very shocking concepts and scenes. As for the physical aspects of the play it was aesthetically pleasing with a mix of special effects, videos and the entertainment of the actors themselves, not to mention the sound effects which again, I would not recommend for the lighthearted or jumpy.
All in all, I could not recommend this play enough, especially to any Orwell or 1984 fans.