Where do you think you are?

It’s been a while since I’ve been to the theatre. And I missed it a lot.

I love the mere atmosphere of a visit to the theatre; the queuing for the entrance; a dark red foyer with people chatting and waiting, anticipating the play; looking for your seats on long rows of narrow velvet chairs; the moment when the lights go out and silence falls over the auditorium, just moments before the stage lights up and takes you to another world.

1984Today Gonzo and I had a day off together and we decided to go to the theatre together. We didn’t even know what was on tonight, it’s just that the day seemed perfect and Gonzo had promised me to take me to the theatre long ago. 🙂 We spent the afternoon figuring out what to see and it was actually kind of tricky as he doesn’t like musicals in particular and I’m rather sceptical about plays I haven’t heard of read about. So we finally choose 1984 at the Playhouse. Turned out it was a really good choice!

The staging was absolutely brilliant! The storyline was framed by the added fragment of people in the future finding Winston’s diary and wondering whether it’s real or not. As spectators we perceived the actual and well know story of 1984 more or less as fragments of Winston’s memory, playing with repeated moments and sudden black-outs.

The actors were superb; especially Sam Carne giving Winston Smith doubting his sanity and place within the party in a very human and relatable way.
To my surprise I like the second half of the play better – usually I favour the first and second acts. There was no interval, but according to my perception the pace shifted when Winston and Julia’s hideout is discovered and they are taken to the ministry of love for interrogation and torture. That’s also when the scenery changed in a very impressive transformation from a neutral office/shop/canteen environment into a clean, windowless canvas, ready for the finale.
Further I want to mention the great sound design. As I mentioned already, a lot of the actions were framed into “memory” moments – and over all laid the constant sound of the telescreens as well as disturbing signals and distorted voice records, adding up to a uneasy feeling of a constant presence third view.

Ok, enough! I could go on and on, speaking of the live video projections and the use of the space on stage, but I’ll have to stop myself here, otherwise I’ll never go to bed. 🙂 But I think you get my point. 😉

We finished the evening in the proper British way and headed to the Pub for a drink, debriefing and discussion.

Thank you. And good night.

XX, Angie

if you are interested…
http://www.playhousetheatrelondon.com/1984-play/

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