Animal Farm review
Animal Farm at The People’s Theatre
~ a guest blog review by Cheish Merryweather
Earlier this year, the talented YoungPeople’s Theatre performed the critically acclaimed production of More Light. So, when the announcement came that the youth group were opening the new season with Animal Farm, it was clear we were in safe hands. After all, this is the same youth theatre group that provided a training ground for film star Andrea Riseborough and comedian Ross Noble who most recently appeared in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein at the Theatre Royal.
Sir Peter Hall’s adaption of the George Orwell’s 1954 novel Animal Farm is a difficult text to dramatise, but it does not lose sight of the political satire that has carried this classic through the generations. There is no denying the current tension between the general public and the government, so this story of revolt, upheaval, and tough labour continues to speak volumes.
The despicable drunk that is Mr. Jones is forced from the farm by his own frustrated animals. Then, head pigs Snowball and Napoleon create a dictatorship and rule over the remainder of the farm animals – going directly against rule number 7: All animals are equal. Eventually the lines between animal and the man they once hated becomes blurred.
What is standout about this particular performance is the lack of gimmicks in order to transform the actors into livestock; costumes aside, it’s their embodiment of each character that carries the story with great strength. The cast were able to successfully entertain an audience who expectantly have heard this story once or perhaps many times over.
Overall, this performance was gripping, well-paced and wonderfully staged. Even if this tale of talking animals, which Orwell himself referred to as “a fairy story”, has a subject matter which is all too real.
“a lovely production – go see it” – Break A Leg
DATE: Showing now till Saturday 16 September 2017
VENUE: The People’s Theatre, Stephenson Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 5QF
TICKETS: £13.50 (Concessions £11)
TEL: 0191 265 5020