Part 3 of my #1984ThePlay report
This time with actual information about the play and a personal review!
1984 is (obviously?) based on George Orwell’s novel, adapted by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan.
I don’t really know how I managed it but I’ve never read the novel (almost shocking as an English Lit major LOL) so I can’t really comment on differences between the novel and the play, I just know there are differences and it was probably better that I went in, knowing almost nothing about the plot (I knew about it being set in a Utopian future where everyone is controlled by Big Brother but that was about it). So I was completely “spoiler free” (which is always the best way to see anything imho) and I also read some reviews about the play from people who know the novel and didn’t like the changes the play made (kind of like hardcore Outlander book readers critizing every little change on the show ).
It was also the first time for me seeing a play directed by Robert Icke and my mind was blown. Absolutely love his style (went to see his Hamlet the following year and it was likewise amazing!) although it is probably not for everyone. The website warned about strobe lights and loud noises and they really weren’t kidding about it! You were blinded by strobe lights and the next second plunged into pitch darkness but I thought it really added to a continued and growing feeling of uneasiness.
Robert Icke also likes to work with video projections (see picture), so the first scene opened with Andrew (Winston – should I have mentioned he played the main character?) sitting at a small desk writing into his diary, and you could see what he was writing on the big screen above the stage.
Needless to say, from the moment the lights came on for the first scene, I was completely mesmerized. My eyes, wide open, were glued on Andrew (I don’t think I blinked once during the entire play LOL) and I think for the most part my mouth was also hanging open. I didn’t feel bored for even a split second.
Andrew was simply amazing as Winston, there’s really no other way of describing it. “Sanity is not statistical” became my favourite quote from the play because of the utter joy and hopefulness in which he said it and which was so clearly visible on his face and his bright eyes.
It’s also a statemtn which should bring hope to all geeks, as it means, only because you’re the only one who obsesses about a certain show (or actor ), and everyone else tells you, you’re crazy for doing so… you’re not, because “sanity is not statistical”, the majority is not always and automatically right.