New in 2017 The U.S. premiere of the U.K. hit, a new adaptation of George Orwell’s novel about a dystopian future where critical thought is suppressed under a totalitarian regime.
From the producers: Big Brother is watching. One of the most widely referenced and best known fiction titles of all time, "1984" has sold over 30 million copies worldwide and has been translated into more than 65 languages. Now, Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan have adapted this iconic novel into “a chilling, ingenious 101 minutes of theatre” (The London Times).
Audience Note: This production contains flashing lights, strobe effects, loud noises, gunshots, smoking, and graphic depictions of violence and torture. It is not suitable for children under 14. No one under the age of 14 will be admitted into the theater.
The hit stage adaptation originated at London's Nottingham Playhouse in 2013 and transferred to the Almeida Theatre in February 2014 for the first of four engagements there. Here's a trailer from the Almeida run:
"1984," by English author George Orwell, was originally published in 1949. The novel is known for its chilling depiction of perpetual war, pervasive government surveillance, and incessant public mind-control. Many of its terms and concepts have entered into common use since its publication. In 2005, the novel was chosen by Time magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. The book has been adapted to film and television several times, notably in 1956 with Edmond O‘Brien and in 1984 with John Hurt.
"1984" doesn't have the same foreboding effect audiences might expect from a book that's continually felt eerily prescient for decades. Still, the acting is phenomenal and the wildly innovative production makes for a memorable show - even if it isn't quite as scary as the world outside the theater. The full extent of Big Brother's rule isn't quite as rich as it is in Orwell's original work. But the creative team has found new ways to bring the story to life, visually and sonically.
Nerve-jangling...harrowing...the play is an assault of flashing lights, rumbling noise, and skillfully staged violence. The virtuosic production makes the dark implications of out-of-control state power feel urgent and real. The production ends on a chilling note, one that's both in keeping with the world Orwell creates while resolutely refusing to send the audience home with an adrenaline rush of hope. This is a play with a message for the darkest of times: No matter what you do, resistance is futile.