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1984 at the Canberra Theatre Centre

words by ben stephens

For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then? ― George Orwell, 1984

Crazy to think, huh?!

The other day I was in Sydney, in an Uber and on my way to the airport. The young lad ferrying me around opened with ‘so do you then think the earth is flat?’…I thought it an odd question to open a 13-minute trip, but I could tell he wanted me to give in and go with him on the idea that the earth is flat… So, I indulged him. It was a long trip to the airport as the traffic was rubbish. When I was standing in the security line, the conversation got me thinking about the Orwell quote… and then we hit 32,000ft and I begin to see the curvature of the earth; I felt settled once again.

Orwell played with the idea of conspiracy and Big Brother better than any writer around at his time. His ability to call out a couple of humanistic traits that go along with the digital condition is a little unnerving, though a welcome reminder.

It’s with great delight that the Canberra Theatre Centre is bringing the Orwell classic to the nation’s capital late July. Produced by Nottingham Playhouse and Headlong in the UK, this adaptation has seen a sold out season in both Melbourne and Sydney. With the production only in town for one week, you’d be well advised to snatch some tickets quick fast.

“★★★★½ The familiar story of Orwell’s dystopian novel surprises and disturbs anew” – Limelight

NOTE: Apparently Sydney audiences fainted… because it got a little too real.

1984 is showing from July 25-29 at Canberra Theatre Centre, which is only a short 10 minute drive from QT Canberra.


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