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