Orwell on Stage

Friday 17 February 2012

This week’s newsletter is full of drama, with a number of theatrical productions based on Orwell (and the Prize) to tell you about. Next week, the drama society of UCL’s student union will be presenting a version of 1984 at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London, ‘with a cast of 25 actors, live music (composed by Max Wilson), big screen film projections, and pulsating physicality’. The show runs from Thursday 23rd until Saturday 25th February. You can book tickets on the Bloomsbury Theatre website, or take a look at the poster for the show (which made us think of D. J. Taylor’s short essay on Orwell and rats). From 9 March, the DV8 physical theatre company will be presenting ‘Can We Talk About This?’ at the National Theatre. The company used a transcript from one of our previous events, ‘What can’t you speak about in the 21st Century?’ with Timothy Garton Ash, Mehdi Hasan and Douglas Murray, in making the show. And some advance notice: Peter Cordwell and Carl Picton will present ‘One Georgie Orwell’, a unique Orwell cabaret, at London’s Greenwich Theatre from Thursday 26 April until Sunday 29 April. You can find some of the songs on YouTube.

Job advert: Orwell Prize administrator

We’re advertising for a new Orwell Prize administrator. You can find the advert on the w4mp website, on the Orwell Prize website, and on the Media Standards Trust website. But hurry – we’re only accepting applications until the end of today!

Entries for the Orwell Prize 2012

The full list of entries, for the Book PrizeJournalism Prize and Blog Prizecan be found on our website. And you can find out more about this year’s judges, too.

At the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2012

We’ll be at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival for a fifth year, with three events. Click on the event titles for full details, to book and to read some relevant Orwell essays:

  • Homage to Catalonia: the Spanish Civil War, 2pm, Friday 30 March: Helen Graham, Paul Preston, Francisco Romero Salvado, chaired by Jean Seaton
  • The Road to Wigan Pier: 75 years on, 6.30pm, Saturday 31 March: Stephen Armstrong, Beatrix Campbell, Juliet Gardiner, Paul Mason, chaired by D. J. Taylor
  • Politics and the Press, 4pm, Sunday 1 April: Gaby Hinsliff, Martin Moore, Lance Price, chaired by Jean Seaton

Nineteen Eighty-Four at Foyles

The Foyles Café at Foyles Bookshop, Charing Cross Road is currently exhibiting some of Aleks Krotoski’s photographs inspired by Nineteen Eighty-Four. Aleks spent just over a year telling the first 369 words of the novel, one word at a time, in photographs. You can see the full set of images on her Flickr stream, and you can buy some of the images via her online storeMore on the novel on our site.

From the archive

Since the play’s the thing, or rather the plays are the thing, this week… In his essay on ‘Orwell’s London’, Gordon Bowker writes about the young Orwell’s love of musical theatre. We also have ‘Free Will’, a one-act script from a slightly older Orwell, written in 1920. Dominic Cavendish, who has adapted Coming Up for Air‘Shooting an Elephant’‘A Hanging’ and a scene from Nineteen Eighty-Four for the stage, has written about adapting Orwell, and we also have Alan Cox reading one of Orwell’s preliminary sketches for Burmese Days as adapted by Dominic (‘An Incident in Rangoon’). It was Valentine’s Day this week. A couple of love poems – or rather, love-related poems – from Orwell for you: ‘My Love and I’ and ‘Romance’. Much more on Orwell and poetry in, unsurprisingly, our Orwell and poetry section – poems by Orwell, essays about poetry by Orwell, and an essay on poetry and Orwell. And first published this week: from 15 February 1946, Orwell’s ‘Decline of the English Murder’.

From elsewhere

The Wartime Diaries

The next entry will be published on 14th March. Don’t forget our other Orwell Diary blogs: his Hop-Picking Diary and The Road to Wigan Pier Diary. If you’ve got any suggestions about our website(s), we’d love to hear from you – email us on gavin.freeguard@mediastandardstrust.org or follow us on Twitter. And you can subscribe to this newsletter via email.