Chilling adaptation of Orwell novel
Manawatu Theatre’s production of 1984 is ‘‘a play that could change the lives of people if they’re willing to engage with it.’’
Scott Andrew, who’s directing the Manawatu premiere of the stage adaptation of George Orwell’s chilling book, describes it as a play that ‘‘people must see, learn from and discuss.’’ If they do, it could change their perception of what’s happening in the world.
1984 is the story of Winston Smith, a cog in the giant machine of the State. Physically and mentally, under the omnipresent eye of Big Brother, Winston uncovers indisputable proof that the Leader of the State is lying.
In trying to escape, he commits another crime by falling in love with Julia, which brings a deeper blur between propaganda and reality. With the brutal ‘help’ of four Party Members who act out his life, Winston is forced to confess his ‘‘thought-crimes’’ before an unseen inquisitor and the audience who act as a silent witness.
It’s the final chapters in Orwell’s ominous book that skilled director Scott Andrew is bringing to life in Michael Gene Sullivan’s modern adaptation of the novel.
Scott sees the novel, written nearly 70 years ago, as essential reading because it ‘‘accurately predicts what is happening in the world today regarding surveillance and many other facets.’’
‘It’s a ferocious and provocative play and one that will absorb the audience who are both participants in and witnesses of what’s happening,’’ Scott says.
‘‘The play is hugely relevant and sales of the novel have skyrocketed since Donald Trump became President.’’
Scott Andrew vindicates George Orwell’s message that ‘‘in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act’’ and is totally loyal to the book and its adaptation. He has gathered around him an extremely talented and experienced cast, headed by Sam Gordon, the winner of the 2016 Globe Award for his role in The Glass Menagerie.
Sam, as Winston, is superbly supported by Richard Mays, Mark Kilsby, Matt Waldin, Jess Linsley and Glen Eustace, who use every device to assist his confession.
1984 runs at The Globe from Friday June 16 to Saturday July 1 at 7.30pm but with three performances (June 21, 25 and 28) at 6.30pm. Book at The Globe 06 351 4409.
SamGordon plays the illfated Winston Smith in George Orwell’s 1984.