April, 1984. 13:00. Comrade 6079, Winston Smith, thinks a thought, starts a diary, and falls in love. But Big Brother is always watching.
Orwell’s ideas have become our ideas; his fiction is often said to be our reality. The ‘definitive book of the 20th century’ (The Guardian) is re-examined in a radical new staging exploring surveillance, identity and why Orwell’s vision of the future is as relevant now as ever.
Following a sold-out run at the Almeida Theatre, the critically acclaimed Headlong, Nottingham Playhouse and Almeida Theatre production of George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece1984 transfers to the West End’s Playhouse Theatre for a strictly limited season from 28 April.
Nominated for Best New Play at the 2014 Olivier Awards.
Nineteen Eighty-Four, and also known as 1984, is a dystopian novel by George Orwell published in 1949.The novel is set in Airstrip One (once known as Great Britain), a province of the superstate Oceania in a world of constant war, ubiquitous government surveillance, and public manipulation, dictated by a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (or Ingsoc in the government’s invented language, Newspeak) under the control of a favoured Inner Party elite that oppresses all individualism and independent thinking as “thoughtcrimes”. The authoritarianism is epitomized by Big Brother, the quasi-divine Party leader who delights in an intense cult of personality, but who may not even exist. Big Brother and the Party justify their oppressive rule in the name of a alleged greater good. The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party who works for the Ministry of Truth (or Minitrue), which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. His job is to rewrite past newspaper articles so that the historical record always affirms the current party line. Smith is a hardworking and skillful worker, but he secretly detests the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother. As literary political fiction and dystopian science-fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a classic novel in content, plot, and style.
London, WC2N 5DE
Running Time: 1 hour 40 minutes (No Interval)
Age Restrictions: Suitable for ages 14+
Show Opened: 28th April 2014
Booking Until: 23rd August 2014
Evenings: Monday to Saturday 7.30pm
Matinees: Wednesday and Saturday 2.30pm