Heswall Hall, Wirral
George Orwell’s classic, satirical tale starts out on Manor Farm, owned by
the drunk, neglectful Mr Jones, who starves the animals and makes them
work until they die. After inspiration strikes Old Major, the oldest pig on the farm, he incites his fellow animals to rebellion. Driving out all elements of human life and interference, the animals establish a new regime with a new
name - Animal Farm. Under the guidance Snowball, Squealer and Napoleon - the farms committee of pigs, Boxer, Clover, Benjamin and the other animals work harder than they ever have toward their dreams of a better life.
Ultimately, however, the pigs have their own agenda, and as this is slowly pushed on the unsuspecting animal masses, under the guise of promises of a better world, they soon find themselves in a situation all too familiar.
Approaching this play, as politically charged as it is, we knew we were in
for a challenge. What can you expect a 13-year-old to know of the Russian
Revolution? How do you explain Stalinism to them in a way that aids their
performance as a sheep? As it happens, these questions were irrelevant.
What we were faced with was a switched-on, enthusiastic group of young people, who straightaway picked up on the relevance that this play still has in the political realms of today. Working with them, and pushing them to realise their own ideas, we forged a piece that was as dystopian as it was grungy. Inspired by Brechtian ideals of episodic, message-driven scenes, with a minimalist approach to the actuality of a physical farm in favour of a more symbolic world, these talented youngsters took on the natural role of the storyteller to bring you a proper ‘what-you-see-is-what-you-get’ production.
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Open air theatre
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