1984, The Playhouse (Almeida production), Saturday 25th July 2015 (matinee)

July 26, 2015

I wish it were more recently that I’d read 1984 or watched the film in order to write what I feel about the play in comparison, but ho hum, it isn’t.

Anyway, I thought this production was really effective and the best thing about it was the way it managed to really make me feel a part of it in the scariest kind of a way. It is hard to explain, but it sort of makes you, as an audience member feel as though you kind of are Winston. It is unsettling, disorientating, confusing, disturbing… and, as Winston comes to understand, so do you. Then, it is chilling.

I found the play slightly less bleak than novel and film (as I recall them) which I say as a positive really and at the same time, it could hardly be more bleak, could it!?!

The play uses effects such as throwing the audience into complete darkness, then flashing bright lights and woomphy sounds at you, which sort of makes you wonder whether it is you who is in room 101! It also uses video screens as well as the actors on stage to great effect, which again adds to the unsettling experience… And adds a voyeuristic aspect, with you watching as do all the meanies (wow, I’ve tried to write too many things about plays and now I am talking about the baddies like I’m 5 when I’d watch a film and my Dad would point out the baddies and the goodies. RAH!) As does the groundhog-day repetition, with it’s alterations almost serving like doublethink in action (hard for me to describe!) always also accentuating things that are going to become very relevant by the end.

There’s quite a lot of torture, which is really wah-inducingly hard to watch! Poor actor-playing-Winston, having to get tortured for a significant time every performance!! By the time rats were mentioned, I noticed quite a bit of squirming in the audience and I felt like the play had gotten the audience into a sufficient state that people wondered whether they might just release live rats upon us!! 😉

So, overall, the play takes its time to get to the ultimate point, but when it gets there it does so powerfully, and on the way it messes a little bit with your mind. Powerful, chilling, wibbly stuff.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: