Sunday, August 30, 2015

1984


One thing with old West End theatres is that they are all cramped, tiny and have bad views. So I'm generally not fond of West End theatres. This one was the same.

So obviously the set was bare and the little furniture in it changed frequently for a "set change ". And when a completely different set was required, it was telecast on the screen which looked to me like it was pre-shot. But at the very end, the entire set changes completely. That was really well done.
I had not read the book before I watched the play. So to me, the first 30 mins were very confusing. I didn't understand that it was a book shop and I didn't understand whether the people around Winston were real or if they were living inside his head. Though now I know that it was Winston who was living inside peoples' heads who were all sitting together and reading his diary. At least that's what I think.

It's a deeply disturbing play. What is most disturbing about it is that while you know it was written a long time ago about the suffocation in the Communist era where even thinking against the party was a thought crime, it strongly resonates with the current times. Isn't expressing an opinion on social media a thought crime for which you are punished in the comments section or in some countries worse? And I don't have to explain how we all feel that Big Brother is still watching given the constant electronic trail we leave. The most disturbing of it all is that Winston is ready to do anything, even the most extreme crime, for a Brotherhood that he believes exists when he makes the conscious decision to rise up against Big Brother.

To sum it up, it is surrealistically freaky, very well executed with many themes strongly echoing in today's world.

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