"I gave them a false name at the door and got away with it - so far"
Vernon Small, The Press
1984 is the year of the book. Orwell's famous pessimist utopia has for years provided a kind of ominous landmark of a distant future. This future is now! In FREE THEATRE'S production the book of the year is brought to life. The story, plot and dialogues of the book are confronted with life in Christchurch New Zealand, 1984.
In the first half of FREE THEATRE'S own adaptation of the book the public is invited for an open night in the Ministry of Truth, the ministry of propaganda, culture and entertainment. Here it can watch the everyday work of the theatre cum ministry and can follow the rebellious love story of Winston and Julia. In the second half it can watch the careful education Winston and his colleagues in the Ministry of Love. And throughout Big Brother will be watching.
He who controls the present controls the past, he who controls the past controls the future... the future is now.
In 2020 a project Digitising Performance we interviewed Nansi Thompson and Stuart McKenzie to discuss the Future of Dystopia and their experience performing in this production 36 years ago!
Free Theatre play with Orwell's 1984
Reviewed by Vernon Small, NZ Times, April 1984
Free Theatre '1984'
Reviewed by Maggie Hillock, The Press, 1984
Lost chance lamented
Reviewed by Richard Corballis, The Christchurch Star, April 1984