Tuesday, July 5

Big Brother Is Watching You

Liverpool community theatre company, Thingwall Players, returns following a sold-out panto with an adaption of the science fiction classic Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell, directed by Gateacre based director and playwright David Griffiths.

The play will be staged at Thingwall Community Centre in Wavertree, 23rd to 25th June at 7:30pm. Tickets are £10 (£7 Concessions) and available from www.trybooking.co.uk/bpcr  

Winston Smith is in prison, found guilty of Thoughtcrimes against Big Brother. As part of his reconstruction, he must re-enact key moments from his past life, with the help of other thought criminals, so that everyone can learn from his mistakes. Including his biggest mistake of all: falling in love with Julia. George Orwell’s classic dystopia Nineteen Eighty Four is a still-resonant vision of the tolls of living under totalitarianism. Constructed almost entirely from dialogue taken from the original novel, this bold and powerful dramatisation restores the blazing heart of Orwell’s work: a doomed love story, with the lovers at its centre.

Cast of 1984 (L-R John Maguire, John Reynolds, Vicki Griffiths, Charlotte Holguin, Kate Mulvihill, Zoran Blackie, Mike Silverman)

“Nineteen Eighty Four is not just a classic work of literature, but it is also surprisingly prescient,” enthuses director David Griffiths. “Every time I revisit the novel, something else stands out that relates to modern politics or surveillance. Orwell wrote a frightening vision of a totalitarian future, but one that doesn’t feel as far fetched as it probably should. And so much of what Orwell wrote has passed into common use – Big Brother, the Thought Police and Room 101.”

This tense and gripping adaption focuses on attempts to rehabilitate Winston (Zoran Blackie) following a destructive romance with Julia (Charlotte Holguin), orchestrated by the manipulative O’Brien (John Maguire).

David Griffiths, who adapted HG Wells’ War of the Worlds as a Liverpool based live radio performance in 2018 is a lifelong sci-fi fan. “It’s a dream come true to put your stamp on such an incredible book. As a cast, we’ve discussed every aspect and nuance of the characters, explored the weaknesses and their desires, scrutinised the subtext of each decision they make to inform our performance. Rehearsals have been exhausting but extremely rewarding. Our pantomime at Christmas has shown us that the community is craving the experience of affordable live theatre and we’re ready to deliver a show that they won’t forget!”

Thingwall Players is a community theatre group which has been based in Thingwall Community Centre for 73 years. In recent years they have performed acclaimed adaptions of Steptoe & Son, Treasure Island and Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal. Group Chair and Artistic Director is David Griffiths, who can be contacted by phone 07525730257 or by email dave.rebelbase@gmail.com

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