If you love a dystopian novel that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, there’s a high chance you’ve already read George Orwell’s classic, 1984. It’s now been transformed into an immersive theatre show taking place in multiple rooms at Hackney Town Hall in London. So let’s find out more about this George Orwell play and zoom in on the cast.
Set in the fictional totalitarian state of Oceania, 1984 by George Orwell is a warning of what can happen when people give governments too much control. It was penned and published in 1949 - in the aftermath of the Second World War. Orwell saw the events that unfolded in Nazi Germany and based the book on things that had already happened or could easily happen in the future, such as extreme surveillance. This makes it different to other dystopian novels, as the setting and themes are a little too close to home for many. And that’s where the power of 1984 lies.
The deeply unsettling story of 1984 is brought to life by a talented team of actors and creatives. This includes:
Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Declan Rodgers is well-known for his roles in Patrick Melrose (2018), The Deceived (2020) and St. Mungo’s (2022). He takes to the stage as protagonist Winston Smith, a man who works for the Ministry of Truth in the totalitarian state of Oceania but hates the Party and everything it stands for.
Speaking about what attracted him to the role, Rodgers said: “Well, firstly I really love Orwell’s novel. I first read the book around 2009, and it’s a story that has always stayed with me. I found it very thought provoking and often found myself referring to it over the years as various global affairs played out and governmental influences became more apparent.” He continued, “When I first read [the] adaptation of the novel, I was astounded by [its] ability to adeptly distil this intricate narrative into a script while also preserving the core essence and societal warnings that George Orwell has woven so beautifully into the original story.”
Kit Reeve will make her stage debut as Winston’s love interest and fellow Party hater, Julia. Reeve is a British actress, writer and producer who is best known for her work on The Manor, The Royals, Medinah and Blinded by the Light.
Well-known Shakespearean actor, Jude Akuwudike shines as the star of this immersive experience. Bringing the calculated personality of O’Brien to the stage and delivering the ‘How many fingers am I holding up’ scene with chilling intent, Akuwudike has been brilliantly cast. He graduated from RADA in 1987 andhas appeared in multiple movies including Beast of No Nation, Sahara and, most recently, The Little Mermaid.
Book your tickets to the immersive George Orwell 1984 play for an experience like no other.