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1984 by Headlong at Warwick Arts Theatre

November 17, 2013

Headlong’s production by Robert Icke and Duncan MacMillan of George Orwell’s “1984” is original and ambitious. They use multimedia to create the ever present watching eye of “Big brother“. What feels like the first Act is very disconcerting and I had some trouble giving my full attention. I think it is very difficult to pull off the combination of creating a believable world with the live action on a set as well as projecting live TV style images on to screens within the set. There was not an interval but I felt the play really came alive in what felt like the second act. The stage was transformed into a torture chamber with Winston played excellently by Mark Arends at the centre. The focus was now clearly all in one reality and the drama really worked. Perhaps we needed the different disconcerting worlds of Act 1 to make Act 2 as effective as it was. I left the theatre feeling suitably chilled by the horror of this story.

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