Following its critically-acclaimed season in Adelaide, the West End smash hit adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece 1984 continues its Australian tour as it prepares to open at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre on Friday 2 June, before heading to Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Perth.
Featuring a much-lauded adaptation and direction by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan, 1984 has already been seen by over 400,000 people worldwide since its UK premiere in 2013, with three successful seasons in the West End, extensive UK and US touring and international festival appearances, including at the 2015 Melbourne Festival.
For this new national tour, an all-Australian cast has been assembled with Tom Conroy as Winston, alongside Paul Blackwell, Terence Crawford, Ursula Mills, Renato Musolino, Guy O’Grady, Yalin Ozucelik and Fiona Press.
Set in a world where an invasive government keeps a malevolently watchful eye on its citizens, this stage phenomenon explores surveillance, identity and why Orwell’s vision of the future is as relevant now as ever. It is a timely reminder of the dangers posed by the digital age and society’s subconscious cooperation in the invasion of our own privacy.
Published in 1949, 1984 is one of the most in influential novels of all time, with its depiction of perpetual war, pervasive government tracking, mind control and the corruption of language and history. Its ideas have become our ideas, and Orwell’s fiction is often said to be our reality. Many of the terms coined by Orwell in the book have entered the English language, with the entity of Big Brother becoming one of the most iconic literary inventions and potent symbols of the 20th century.
Currently, the number 1 title on Amazon’s bestseller list, 1984 has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, with interest spiked in recent months following the use of the term ‘alternative facts’ by US President Donald Trump’s advisors where comparisons were made with the term ‘newspeak’ used in the novel.
The Olivier Award nominated production, produced by British theatre innovators Headlong, the Almeida Theatre and Nottingham Playhouse, reaches another international milestone in June as it opens on Broadway with an American cast.
Directors: Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan. Associate Director (Australia): Corey McMahon. Featuring: Paul Blackwell, Tom Conroy, Terence Crawford, Ursula Mills, Renato Musolino, Guy O’Grady, Yalin Ozucelik, and Fiona Press. Designer: Chloe Lamford. Lighting Designer: Natasha Chivers. Sound Designer: Tom Gibbons. Video Designer: Tim Reid
“A superbly handled multimedia speculation on the nature of truth that never lets the audience off the hook.” – The Guardian UK
Comedy Theatre, 240 Exhibition Street, Melbourne
Season: 2 – 10 June 2017
Following the Melbourne season, 1984 will play Brisbane’s Lyric Theatre – QPAC (14 – 18 June), Sydney’s Roslyn Packer Theatre (28 June – 22 July), Canberra Theatre Centre (25 – 29 July), and Perth’s Her Majesty’s Theatre (4 – 13 August). For more information, visit: www.1984play.com.au for details.
Image: 1984 – photo by Manuel Harlan