When I saw that a stage version was coming to Richmond Theatre I was so excited and I booked tickets straight away. I couldn't imagine how the book could be transferred to the stage but I think they did it well.
Description from ATG's website :- April, 1984. 13:00. Comrade 6079, Winston Smith, thinks a thought, starts a diary, and falls in love. But Big Brother is watching him - and the door to Room 101 can swing open in the blink of an eye.
Its ideas have become our ideas, and Orwell's fiction is often said to be our reality. The definitive book of the 20th century is re-examined in a radical new staging exploring surveillance, identity and how thinking you can fly might actually be the first step to flying.
This new major production explores the world inside Winston Smith's head, as well as the world without, and catches the euphoria and bliss buried deep underneath the cold face of Big Brother. In an age of mass surveillance, ‘total’ policing and GPS tracking, 1984 is as relevant now as it ever was.
If I hadn't read the book before-hand then I'm not sure how much of the play I would have understood. Because I already had a background knowledge of the story I could fill any gaps within the plot myself but I'm not sure how someone who hadn't already read it would fare. One of Orwell's best features in his writing, in my opinion, is his description. There's one part in the book which I have to skip because the description makes me feel so sick. I felt like there were a few details missed out of the play, details which make the book brilliant, but the play was only an hour and forty minutes long so there is only so much they can include I suppose.
Also, there was no interval. I know it's not a very long time but the story is extremely intense. I could have done with a break around an hour in.
Overall I really enjoyed it. It was interesting to see a different adaptation of a classic and well-loved book and it must have been hard to fit it onto a stage. A great night.