The oppressive, punishing din of a black noise from the abyss syncopated with flashes of blinding white light, with no possible means of escape from the claustrophobic theatre seat I am inhabiting, my nonchalant fiancé to one side and a row of students to the other.

Perhaps not the obvious way to spend an unseasonably warm and balmy afternoon on my day off… But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. What’s that? A free ticket to see an old friend perform in a critically acclaimed play based on perhaps the most important novel of the 20th Century? Yes, please! From the quality of the acting throughout to the emotive sound and lighting that quite literally makes you feel Winston Smith’s pain and drives you mad as is surely the intention, this play is truly awe-inspiring. This production is accomplished, powerful, and largely faithful to the main episodes, concepts and happenings of the book. There are additions and nuances that remind the audience of how relevant Orwell still is today, perhaps more than ever before with the threat of scaremongering politicians and dangerous, fanatical cults of indoctrination ever present in our daily lives.

1984 is a great book and, it would seem, has been adapted into a fantastically thought-provoking, clever little play. I thoroughly recommend it.

Posted by Gytha Lodge, Cambridge