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Entries in Theater Review (1)


Review: 1984 on Broadway, a wild, multi-layered ride with unreal sound and lighting design


1984 on Broadway is based on the book of the same name by George Orwell, and is exactly what theatre should be: intensely captivating, thought-provoking and unforgettable. You’ve probably heard about the reviews of audience members “fainting, vomiting and getting arrested”, but I am here to tell you that it’s definitely worth getting yourself a seat.

The story, which borrows from the book in a more conceptual way, plays out like a thriller. It follows Winston Smith (played by Tom Sturridge) as he grapples with the notion of information control, doublethink, newspeak and becoming unpersoned. The story is multi-layered, and plays with the notion of reality, fantasy, and memory. At times, they are mixed around so well that you aren't quite sure of what is what, or where exactly you are.

My favorite moment in the show was a piece of theater trickery, making me feel exactly what I believe the character felt on the stage - complete disorientation. This wasn't sympathetic or empathetic. This was real confusion.

The sound and lighting design worked hand-in-hand together to build intensity and suspense throughout the performance. This is not a show where you can have a nap in the second act, and nor do you want to. I literally jumped out of my seat more than a few times. The play is designed to make you feel viscerally uncomfortable and on edge. The pace of the performance is rapid, supported by rattling sound and light. No intermission is needed when you are this entrenched in the performance and storyline.

A huge thank you to the team at Broadway For All, including volunteer Aaron Mack whose generosity made it possible for me to see this production during its limited season on Broadway. Broadway For All do some incredible work teaching underprivileged youth the art of performing live, please check them out.

And if you hurry, you might be able to snag yourself a seat at the Hudson Theatre to see 1984 before it becomes a memory.

Remember, Big Brother is always watching.


All the info

1984 on Broadway
Showing through October 8, 2017.
Hudson Theatre 139-141 W 44th Street, New York
A new play created and directed by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan.