Orwell’s 1984 on stage will leave you stunned – REVIEW

Credit: Manuel Harlan
Credit: Manuel Harlan

After visiting the Nottingham Playhouse two years ago, the stage adaptation of George Orwell’s classic novel returned last week for a three week run as part of the new ‘Conspiracy Season’.

1984 – of which the novel was originally banned in the USSR, explored a world in which the government, or ‘Big Brother’, controls everything; including the thoughts and actions of it’s citizens.

The eye-opening show featured an admirable performance from lead actor Matthew Spencer, in the role of Winston Smith – a character who hates the government and wants to overthrow it alongside his secret lover Julia (Janine Harouni).

Despite the plot being based on the development of a rebellious romantic relationship, there was a constant undertone of danger – which was brilliantly portrayed by the actors – of which there were just nine – who all pulled together to allow effortless set and character changes as well as giving charged performances filled with energy and Orwellian misery.

Apart from the skill of the cast, the most impressive element was the visual and audio effects used throughout. Stunning the audience with harrowing white noise and bright floodlights as scenes change so silently, the viewer was left stunned and electrified by the work of the creative geniuses behind this production.

If there is one dark play ever worth seeing, I thoroughly encourage you to see this one – even Orwell himself would be proud.

1984 is playing at the Nottingham Playhouse until 26 September, tickets from £10.50 are available at nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk