Big Brother on stage: ‘1984’ style

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IF you saw “Animal Farm” a couple of years back at The Q, you won’t want to miss “1984 by George Orwell.”

Adapted and created from the original novel by Nelle Lee and Nick Skubij for Brisbane’s shake & stir theatre company, it opens at the Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre tomorrow.

“Big Brother is back,” they’re saying, as if he’d never left.

“Strap yourself in for this terrifically frightening theatrical event set against a towering wall of plasma screens,” the description continues and, indeed, while “Animal Farm” was essentially a tour de force of acting, this is much more of a multimedia event, directed by Michael Futcher, designed by Josh McIntosh with lighting design by Jason Glenwright, sound design by Guy Webster and media production from Brisbane-based production company, optikal blok.

The actors, Ross Balbuziente, Nelle Lee, Bryan Probets, Nick Skubij and David Whitney, play out an all too familiar scenario. Oceania is a nation perpetually at war, where cameras watch every move and Thought Police roam the streets. By day, Winston is an editor at the Ministry of Truth, rewriting history to align the past with the radical political agenda of the ruling party and its illusive leader, Big Brother. By night, Winston pursues a forbidden love affair with the mysterious Julia in an attempt to rebel against the oppressive regime set down by the party and maintain some control over this otherwise totally controlled life. The rest you probably know, and it’s not pretty.

“1984 by George Orwell,” at The Q, April 30 and May 1 to 3, bookings to 6285 6290 or

Audience Advice: Strong language, adult themes, appropriate for patrons 15+

Wednesday 30 April, 8.00pm

Thursday 1 May, 10.30am & 8.00pm

Friday 2 May, 10.30am & 8.00pm

Saturday 3 May, 2.00pm & 8.00pm


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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor


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