Friday, 24 June 2022 00:00

News from Westacre Theatre - Animal Farm opens on July 7.

Written by  The All Things Norfolk Team
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News from Westacre Theatre - Animal Farm opens on July 7.

Why do leaders around the world, once elevated to a position of authority, abuse their power often by rewriting the rules to suit their own agenda?  So is it that power corrupts?  Must some animals always be more equal than others?     

George Orwell’s Animal Farm is the next in-house production from the Westacre Theatre Company. Presented in-the-round on the Summer House outdoors stage, this lively version of the satirical tale is very full of vim and verve and follows many memorable adaptations for stage (including for National Theatre), television, film and radio. 

Once Orwell’s book was published in 1945 after considerable delays, it received the huge critical acclaim and wide recognition that it so rightly deserves.  Among many accolades, it is listed in the Top 100 of Best English Language Novels (Time Magazine) and is ranked at No 46 in the Big Read Poll (BBC).  In a 2016 survey, Animal Farm was chosen as the UK’s favourite book from school.

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History shows us that propaganda from dictatorial regimes can effectively dominate the beliefs of the most enlightened in society.  Orwell aimed his truthfully written parody directly at events leading up to the 1917 Russian Revolution and then through the Stalinist era of the USSR, of which he was exceptionally critical.  

With the animal characters cleverly reflecting the Russian politicians involved, the ending so clearly predicts the best possible relations developed between the USSR and the West were destined to inevitably unravel badly – as indeed they did for over 40 years of the Cold War and since.  

Some had suggested Animal Farm would be viewed as no more than a fairy-tale by readers in the 21st century.  But as we now know all too well, current affairs sadly indicate otherwise on numerous fronts with Orwell’s work depicting a depressing state of affairs.  A recent example is China taking the decision in 2018 to censor all online posts about the novel. 

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So the relevance of this timeless tale at Westacre makes it very much a play for today.  We can imagine that people have a vision to establish their own Utopia.  While it is entirely possible for the structure of society to be changed, it is the shortcomings in human nature that will often thwart those best intentions.

Come and enjoy a particularly pertinent performance in the great outdoors.  It’s under the canvas canopy so bring your jumper just in case for the second half.  There are six shows from July 7 with tickets at the same price as always; visit www.westacretheatre.com to book.   

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Last modified on Saturday, 25 June 2022 08:47

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