1984 at the Almeida Theatre, Islington
Theatre adaptations of George Orwell's dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, sometimes fail to live up to expectations. This isn't necessarily due to shoddy production values or the creative team badly choreographing performances. It's more the story's protagonist, Winston Smith, not really doing much.
If you can rewind back to your school days, you may remember that Winston is branded a 'thought criminal' by the Totalitarian Party that he and his lover, Julia, are rebelling against. This makes for compelling reading in the book, but the idea hasn't always been well-represented on screen or stage.
However, this extraordinary adaptation at the Almeida Theatre in Islington, London, makes a virtue of the book's internal political nature, unravelling Orwell's ideas and criticisms in a manner which can be easily understood and accepted by the audience. This '1984' is set in Winston's fracturing memory and makes for a horrifying sensual experience. Winston's mind buckles under terrible pressure and torture, especially within the much daunted Room 101.
This show has been adapted by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan for Headlong. It is crushingly powerful stuff and well worth a watch, especially if you're a fan of innovative set and sound designs. However, be aware, tickets to see this show are selling out fast, so you're going to need to book soon to avoid disappointment. The show is currently running at the Almeida and will continue running until Saturday 15th March.
Tickets cannot be purchased online, so your best bet is to head over to Islington (Angel or Highbury & Islington tube stations) and purchase directly from the ticket office. For information about the show and how to acquire tickets, you can visit the theatre's website.
Even if you're unable to purchase tickets, the theatre is located along Upper Street, a long road, jam-packed full of bars, shops and restaurants. It's well worth the stroll.
If you intend to travel to London to catch this, the theatre production of this thought-provoking play, why not make your stay in the capital that much more memorable by checking out and checking in to one of our luxurious central London hotels?