Saturday, 10 May 2014

All the world's a stage, What to see this month - Part IV : LOCAL LOVES


I saw 1984 a few nights ago and I’m still reeling from it. I love a show that almost affects you physically, the fact that theatre can do that to you is why I adore it so much. My head felt so full, if that makes sense. It was such a bombardment of information, ideas and thought that I couldn’t compute it all at once.

Based on the famous George Orwell book, the play was originally staged at the Almeida Theatre in North London as a co-production with Headlong and Nottingham Playhouse. It got rave reviews and the theatre owners of the West End quickly battled for the transfer. It is now selling out the Playhouse and reactions have been amazing.

For those of you who haven’t read the book this is where the ideas of Big Brother and Room 101 come from – a dystopian world where free thought and emotion is banned, and every living person is watched in omnipresent surveillance. Those who go against these laws become 'unpersoned' - they are effectively deleted, any record of them that there ever was is destroyed. But Winston Smith dares to challenge this.

It sounds like an unthinkable hell doesn't it? Well the pure quality of this production makes you not want to miss a single second of that hell. With the slickest of scene changes, smack-you-in-the-face lighting and sound (from Natasha Chivers and Tom Gibbons respectively), and an endlessly astonishing set (by Chloe Lamford) this is a real theatre gem and I encourage all of you to beg, borrow and steal for a ticket.

WHAT: 1984
WHERE: Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Ave, London WC2N 5DE
TICKETS: ATG Tickets  - for each show 101 tickets are sold for £19.84 - see what they did there??
DATES: On until 19th July 2014. Update! The show has extended to 23rd August - go, go, go!
WHO: Anyone who likes a bit of theatre that makes you think and feel instantly and for a long time afterwards. For George Orwell fans – this is a must.
TUBE: Embankment tube is less than a minute away.