Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Review: Animal Farm

Animal Farm
Animal Farm by George Orwell adapted by Ian Wooldridge
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was intrigued to know how Animal Farm could be adapted to the stage. The answer is, it hasn't been. My drama group had great fun reading it, but at no point could I see any drama going on. What we have is Orwell's classic prose in dialogue form, which would make a great radio play, with vague stage directions for the two or three bits of action (e.g. "There is a revolution and Jones is expelled").

The problem isn't that an imaginative director can't portray a cast of animals; it's that nothing really happens in the play. It's all talk with some very long speeches, which seldom makes for great theatre. I didn't think Animal Farm could be adapted to the stage. On this evidence, I still think so.

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