In this post-Snowden age, where privacy it seems is all but dead, a reinterpretation of Orwell's Big Brother and the omnipresent surveillance state certainly has a lot to offer. But this production at the Almeida is over-engineered, with high concept overwhelming the text, creating an inconsistent, uneven show.
In George Orwell's novel 1984, the hero, Winston Smith, works at the Ministry of Truth, the government agency concerned with the media, and propaganda. Smith's job is literally to re- write the history books, so that everything the Party says matches up with what they have supposedly said before. Even if they have said something different there is no proof.
It's perhaps appropriate that the biggest news this month, a month that marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of George Orwell, is a story about privacy. What would Orwell, whose dystopian novel 1984 painted a nightmare vision of a society under constant surveillance, have to say about the current scandal engulfing the U.S. and British security services?
In 1918, Kafka wrote about the early kibbutzim in Palestine, arguing there should be no legal courts - "Palestine needs earth (...) but it does not need lawyers". Until Israel realizes world Jewry and their cultural assets are not automatically property of the Jewish state, and removes its lawyers from this sorry tale - the world will continue to be starved of a true literary great's work.
If humans could live as long as some of J. R. R. Tolkien’s famous fantasy characters, the author himself would have turned 120-years-old today (3rd ...
1984. The year a man called George Orwell predicated the world would end in a book of the same name. But the world failed to end. Thanks to one man. A humble, dishevelled man. A singer, a balladeer, a mere minstrel. A man who threw off the shackles of light entertainment and opened the eyes of the puffy, pinstriped masses, permanently. Like an Irish Jesus come to life.