The radical touring company Headlong has a well-earned reputation for its disruptive interpretations of classic texts – and its new staging of 1984 is no exception. Both The Times and The Guardian have awarded five stars to this innovative take on George Orwell’s most famous novel, which comes to Richmond Theatre as part of a UK tour.
Orwell’s dystopian vision of a state controlled by the all-seeing Big Brother is as relevant today as ever, and directors Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan have deployed modern media – a mix of video clips and digital images, projected onto a large television screen above the stage – to implicate us, the audience, in the undercover surveillance described in the novel. Prepare to be unsettled: this co-production with Nottingham Playhouse is ‘not an easy watch’, says The Guardian’s Lyn Gardner.
Unlike previous adaptations, Icke and Macmillan have focussed on 1984’s neglected appendix, The Principles of Newspeak, which changes our whole understanding of the novel. So, an unexpected take for most of us but as Icke points out, a truly successful adaptation is ‘often a very different thing from delivering the version that people expect.’
We strongly advise you to get along to this risk-taking production. Its next stop could be the West End.
Book your tickets here.