Big Brother is watching in Welwyn Garden City

PUBLISHED: 10:31 01 April 2013 | UPDATED: 10:09 05 April 2013




GEORGE Orwell’s 1984 comes to Welwyn Garden City later this month.

TWENTY-NINE years ago, one of literature’s greatest dates came and went.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that George Orwell’s 1984 was dated as a result – after all, Big Brother is now a worldwide brand, Room 101 is a comedy chat show and a Memory Hole is something computer programmers talk about.

But the power of Orwell’s book is that it actually stands outside of time, and no amount of familiarity with its terms can dull its edge.

This is something that Sell A Door Theatre Company members understand very well, and their stage production of the book, at the Hawthorne Theatre, in Welwyn Garden City, seeks to reclaim the power of Orwell’s nightmare world.

Winston Smith rewrites history for the Ministry of Truth, yet when he’s handed a note that says simply “I love you” by a woman he hardly knows, he decides to risk everything in a search for the real truth.

But, in a world where cheap entertainment keeps the proles ignorant but content, where war without end is always fought and the government is always watching, can Winston possibly hold onto what he feels inside?

George Orwell’s 1984 may belong to the past, but in a world where every street corner has CCTV, where television seems to cycle between mindless game shows and reports from war-torn states, and where social media has created its own version of Newspeak, can we really say it is that far away?

Sell A Door recently visited the Hawthorne Theatre with a well-received production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and its latest production will no doubt be just as popular.

George Orwell’s 1984 plays at Campus West on Saturday, April 27. The performance starts at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £15, £13 concessions, and groups £10.

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