THEATRE
Playhouse Theatre
Northumberland Ave
London, WC2N 5DE
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SHOW TIMES
Opened: 14 Jun 2016
Booking from: 24 Oct 2016
Booking until: 29 Oct 2016
Duration: 1 hour 40 minutes (No Interval)
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  • Anonymous User 4258 reviews 553 helpful votes
    80% total rating 1984, 16th August 2016
    It was good yeah. I liked the actor who played O'Brien. I felt like it, as a whole, could have been a bit braver. It just seemed like they were almost reading a script from memory at times. That 'life', that I'm sure isn't easy to create plus I know it's easy to judge. But it wasn't fully there. Some scenes were better than others. Plus I don't feel like there was enough creativity in the devising process. They didn't make the source material entirely their own. Not that they didn't make effort, they surely did! And from that perspective it was very good! But for me, it was missing things I look for in good performance (be it in theatre, tv, film etc). I think it may have also been harder for me to understand, because I haven't read the book. I knew the premise of the story, but I didn't realise it would go so dark and kind of cynical. But in a way that's nice, because typical Hollywood is the good guys always win, eventually. By some 'Hollywood moment', some impossible feat, they save the day. So in that sense it's nice that this play didn't follow those footsteps. I'm just rambling now. It was good, worth seeing. Don't pay too much heed to my comments. Watch it for yourself!
    We could see most of the stage. The back projection screen was sometimes out of view.
  • shaun 5"10 male 37 reviews 2 helpful votes
    100% total rating 1984, 20th June 2016
    1984 really is one of the best plays showing in the West End at the moment. Adapting one of the greatest plays of all time is no easy feat, but with a clever and unsettling framing narrative, this production of 1984 at the Playhouse Theatre manages to successfully even extend on the source material without feeling clichéd or trite. Much of Orwell’s brilliance is kept in the dialogue and rightly so, while Headlong’s fantastic use of lighting, set, visual and audio effects that conjure up a disconcerting and bewildering picture of a dictatorship-led future (or is it past?). Although this could easily be over-cooked, they toe the line and create something that far surpassed my expectations to how a staging of 1984 could ever be.
    Sat in Stalls A2
    This seat is very close to the front, however with a low stage there is little that is cut off or impaired and gives a perfectly enjoyable view of the stage. With not much of a rake between the two rows ahead of this and Row A, I could imagine that a shorter person may be a bit obstructed if someone taller was sitting in front of them. Despite being at the end of the row, it never felt too side on. Leg room and seat comfort were both perfectly okay. Being a couple of rows back and in the centre would definitely be preferable, especially to make the most fully of visual effects, however these seats are perfectly acceptable.
  • louisetaylor1 4 reviews 2 helpful votes
    80% total rating 1984, 27th July 2016
    We booked to see this show at short notice after the matinee of Groundhog Day we'd originally booked for was cancelled - and it definitely made our trip down from Newcastle worthwhile. 1984 was a highly entertaining production, with engaging and innovative staging and some challenging scenes. We felt the female lead's performance was the weak link in this show. The live video effects were impressive and left us thinking about how they were achieved afterwards.
    Although these seats were sold as restricted view as there was a railing directly ahead, it didn't block any of our view of this particular performance - which had incentive staging that made full use of the space. The seats were spacious and comfy. We were glad we hadn't booked the cheaper seats further back, as it would have limited our view of the video projections.
    E17 Dress Circle - Playhouse Theatre - Seat Review & View Photo
    View from Dress Circle E17
    2 people thought this review was helpful.
  • susannahrosemn 5"3 female 100 reviews 3 helpful votes
    40% total rating 1984, 23rd June 2016
    I am truly baffled as to why this show has received so many five star reviews. With a new cast, the acting in 1984 was shockingly bad - I have never had to stifle so many laughs at some "serious" lines. It's a repetitive, monotonous script which doesn't do Orwell's novel any justice. It may have not been my cup of tea, but what I saw was dreadful. A slight side note - there are very limited warnings about how graphic 1984 is. There are constant strobes, blackouts, piercing lights and loud noises, as well as A LOT of blood. Unfortunately, I passed out somewhere during the last half an hour of the show and had to be escorted from the theatre. (Trust me, this has never happened to me before!) According to the FOH team, people have seizures, faint and vomit during the show on a regular basis. So PLEASE if you are squeamish or sensitive to flashing lights and noises, be wary of this production as it does NOT give you any prior warning!
    An interesting seat in the front couple of rows of the Dress Circle. Quite cramped and narrow, with not much room for both your bags and legs! It gets extremely hot up here in the summer, and I'm not sure if it is air-conditioned. You can see the whole stage perfectly fine, although it does seem slightly far away. I would actually rather sit towards the rear of the Stalls than here.
1984 SEATING PLAN
The best seats in the Playhouse Theatre are towards the front of each section. Sit in the front of the Dress Circle for the best overall view of the stage.
Playhouse Theatre, London interactive seating plan & seat reviews
STORY
Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillian’s acclaimed adaptation of George Orwell’s influential novel 1984, returned to London’s Playhouse Theatre for a limited season in 2016. Premiering at the Nottingham Playhouse in 2013, Headlong’s pertinent play had toured internationally, with two West End runs under its belt. Accumulating rave reviews, 1984 returned to London once more, for a limited 12 week season at London’s Playhouse Theatre.

Published in 1949, Orwell’s famous text imagines a dark, dystopian future where a controlling government works closely with “Big Brother” to keep a frighteningly watchful eye on its citizens. A radical adaptation focusing on surveillance and identity, 1984 follows Ministry of Truth employee Winston Smith as he starts a diary and dares to fall in love. Described as the definitive text of the 20th century, 1984 examines why Orwell’s frightening vision of the future still remains relevant.

1984 was adapted and directed by Olivier Award-winning director Robert Icke (Oresteia) and prolific playwright Duncan Macmillan, who is best-known for People, Places and Things and Lungs. The production was presented by UK touring theatre group Headlong, alongside Almeida Theatre and Nottingham Playhouse. 1984 featured design by Chloe Lamford, lighting by Natasha Chivers and sound by Olivier Award winner Tom Gibbons, with video by Tim Reid.

A smash-hit, sinister exploration of the damning side of society, 1984 returned to the West End for a predictably popular run, having opened in June 2016 at London’s Playhouse Theatre.
SUITABLE FOR
Fans of Orwell’s novel will find that a vivid and accurate stage adaptation here, which is not suited for those under the age of 14. Please note that the production contains flashing lights and loud noises.

Age Recommendations: Suitable for ages 14+
PHOTOS AND VIDEO