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David Porter » Reviews » Animal Farm

Animal Farm

Newfangled Theatre Company at the Seagull Theatre, Lowestoft

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 8 June 2006

Animal Farm

Shocking brutality, culling the unwanted and dissenting, betrayal, deceit and fear should come as no surprise in the modern world.

George Orwell offered us his novelised fable of the destruction of a heaven on earth from within. Sir Peter Hall dramatised it. Adrian Mitchell added satirical lyrics and this still new company have turned it into a successful display of how humankind focuses on its own wellbeing, regardless of cost.

Chris Whiting as Napoleon was superbly sinister with a bent frame that chilled. He was ably supported by Tom Bailey as the alleged traitor Snowball, and the slimy sidekick Squealer (Joel Curtis) and they led a strong cast that strutted, hopped, slid, clucked and pawed across the stage as every kind of animal.

The pitifulness of their plight was horribly conveyed as the inevitability of the pig/man/pig ending drew near.

The pair of rottweilers was viciously evil and direction from Jo Warner was deft in places and inspired in others. Some opening night gaps in lighting and a little loss of pace here and there should be ironed out as the run proceeds, together with some jarring notes in a song or two.

Well worth it if you like original theatre and want to help fill the Seagull in what could be its final days.

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