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Sunday, 4 June 2017

1984 - A (not very good) Review

OK, so read 20 "classic books" is on the list and it is a struggle. I'll admit I struggle to get in to "old" books.  1984 by George Orwell published in 1949 is not on the list, but is a book I read at school.  Did I enjoy it?  I can't remember - give me a break, that was 35 years ago.   It's about a dystopian society (a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding. - thank you, my definition would have been a dysfunctional oppressed society) that is at war and its people are controlled politically by "English Socialism".  Independent thinking is a big no-no and the thought police will come and get you.  And then there is all seeing Big Brother, only interested in control and power.

Main character is Winston whose job is to rewrite history and secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother and falls in love with Julia. Blah, blah blah.

Anyway, it's considered a classic and I thought, ok, let's get cultural and go see the play.  Confession, being at the comedy theatre, I thought maybe it might have been "re-done" and a bit funny.  Yeah OK, call me an idiot for not reading the reviews.  Comedy is not a word I would use and neither is musical. But I got cheap tickets and see 3 shows is on the list.

So what was it like?  Loud. Very loud.  Strange use of sound and lighting - bit frightening really.  The story pretty much follows the original, with a few modern twists thrown in that do make you stop and think "is this where we are heading?"  In fact, after Trump was elected, apparently sales of the book rose.  The first half is slow, the second is gruesome as Winston is tortured by the Ministry of Love.   Did we enjoy it?  No, not really. 101 minutes I won't be getting back.  If there had been an intermission, we wouldn't have gone back in.  That and the fact that we were sitting in the front row and felt a bit bad getting up and leaving.

Was it better than Cats, my previous least favourite show?  Maybe, but we didn't stick around to see the end of that one and I was hugely disappointed.

Lesson learnt - stick to my favourite light, funny musicals.  Oh and maybe check the reviews - although they were pretty good, so maybe it was just us.  Maybe we need to go and see Book of Mormon again - more our style. Go to the theatre 3 times in 2017 - tick.

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