Bob Dylan in his hip, cryptic song ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ from his album ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ sang ‘Don’t follow leaders, watch the parking meters.’

No matter where one looks in this world premiere stage adaptation by Saro Lusty-Cavallari of George Orwell’s classic novel ‘Animal Farm’ the majority of animals feel hard done by, and are looking for a better lot in life.

At first, the animals blame it on the humans, the farmers who mistreat and disrespect them. They manage to rid themselves of the farmer and then turn to the leaders amongst them. These leaders let them down, and their lives become as miserable as they ever were.

Orwell’s novel is, of course, an allegorical tale. Orwell was really talking about the world of politics. Orwell’s politics were left wing,  he abhorred capitalism and looked for hope in the socialist model. What did he end up seeing? The horrors of Joseph Stalin’s regime.

Cavallari’s production is a good one. The story is told in an episodic style with the scenes ‘typed’ onto the stage curtains as they met in the middle of the stage. The performances by a large cast were all good, and production values were excellent.

Recommended, ‘Animal Farm’ plays the New Theatre, 542 King Street, Newtown until the 7th November. Performance times are Thursdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm and  Sundays at 5pm. The final performance, a matinee performance, will take place on the 7th November, 2020 at 2pm.

CAST (in alphabetical order)

Jesse, Driver Kevin Batliwala

Pigeon/Hen 1 Anika Bhatia

Moses Sue Broberg

Squealer Zoe Crawford

Bull/Mr Frederick Ben Dewstow

Boxer Laura Djanegara

Napoleon Angus Evans

Muriel Nathalie Fenwick

Rooster/Mr Whymper/Mr Pilkington Rob Ferguson

Clover Imogen French

Mr Jones/Old Major Brendan Miles

Cow/Cat/Minimus/Sheep Bella Ridgway

Benjamin Eleanor Ryan

Snowball Lachlan Stevenson


Director & Adaptation Saro Lusty-Cavallari

Set Designer Carmody Nicol

Lighting Designer Rhys Mendham

Costume Designer Claudia Mirabello

Sound Designer Jaymes Julian Wilson

All images. by Bob Seary