Performed in the Temporary Drama Studio and presented ‘in the round’, this was a startling theatrical adaption of Orwell’s ‘1984’ by the Upper Sixth Dramatic Society. The cast comprised Ali Hawkins, Annie O’ Gorman, Heleena De Oliviera, Alice Blyth, Miranda Bruce, Maddie Martyn-Smith, Oli Garnett, Mac Sainsbury-Plaice, Lauren Maxey, Jack Bishop, Declan Swinburne and Mahaaz Ahmed. Eliott Gilling-Smith as the main protagonist Winston Smith, Elise Black as the duplicitous Julia, and Amelia Wilson as the sinister O’Brien excelled throughout, as the cast viscerally brought to life this dystopian tale of one man’s struggle against Big Brother’s repressive regime.
Swirling lighting, telescreens and ominous music created a deliberately disorientating atmosphere and the lack of eye contact and isolation of the characters, the robotic nature of the human interaction that prevailed in Orwell’s world. The costumes captured a society trapped in austerity and created a sense of timelessness. At the end the audience responded enthusiastically, loudly applauding the ensemble for this atmospheric and thoughtful dramatic production of Orwell’s literary classic.