1984 at Playhouse Theatre tickets
1984 at Playhouse Theatre tickets

1984 has closed

This show has closed

Overview

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.

Recommended 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+

Dates and times

Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes (No Interval)
Opened: 14 Jun 2016
Press night: 28 Jun 2016
Booking from: 24 Oct 2016
Booking until: 29 Oct 2016

Location and map

Playhouse Theatre
Northumberland Ave
London, WC2N 5DE

215 Reviews Add review

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 seem... More

Anonymous User 4473 reviews, 566 helpful votes

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!

Anonymous User 4473 reviews, 566 helpful votes

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 e... More

shaun 5"10, 59 reviews, 2 helpful votes

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.

shaun 5"10, 59 reviews, 2 helpful votes

We booked to see this show at short notice after the matinee of Groundhog Day we'd originally booked for was cancelled - and it de... More

louisetaylor1 4 reviews, 2 helpful votes

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.

louisetaylor1 4 reviews, 2 helpful votes

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 ... More

susannahrosemn 5"3, 114 reviews, 4 helpful votes

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!

susannahrosemn 5"3, 114 reviews, 4 helpful votes

This was such an enjoyable yet confusing show at times which in many ways echos that of the book. I think the performances where a... More

fifilou 5"7, 175 reviews, 2 helpful votes

This was such an enjoyable yet confusing show at times which in many ways echos that of the book. I think the performances where amazing especially by the lead male Andrew Gower who really held the character Winston perfectly for me. The play was intense and heartfelt and was an interesting and clever adaptation of the book!

fifilou 5"7, 175 reviews, 2 helpful votes

I absolutely loved this production. Not only are the acting performances superb, but the use of all the elements - set design, sou... More

gdeacon95 6'1, 60 reviews, 7 helpful votes

I absolutely loved this production. Not only are the acting performances superb, but the use of all the elements - set design, sound design, staging, video - was excellent, and is seriously clever! It's a harrowing story, and is exemplary of theatre that will leave a serious impact on you.

gdeacon95 6'1, 60 reviews, 7 helpful votes

Excellent Show!! The scenery is to the spot, amazing acting, they make the book come to life, you get immersed in the story. One t... More

nativ 152 cm, 3 reviews, 1 helpful vote

Excellent Show!! The scenery is to the spot, amazing acting, they make the book come to life, you get immersed in the story. One thing to have in mind, they use strobe lights and loud noises, if you are sensible to this please have this into account.

nativ 152 cm, 3 reviews, 1 helpful vote

We went to see the show for my boyfriend's birthday, as he really wanted to see it. Having read the book, I sort of knew what to e... More

hajnalkakurti 170, 16 reviews, 0 helpful votes

We went to see the show for my boyfriend's birthday, as he really wanted to see it. Having read the book, I sort of knew what to expect. The show itself was brilliant, would highly recommend. Something a bit different from the musicals playing at West End.

hajnalkakurti 170, 16 reviews, 0 helpful votes

We went to see the show for my boyfriend's birthday, as he really wanted to see it. Having read the book, I sort of knew what to e... More

hajnalkakurti 170, 16 reviews, 0 helpful votes

We went to see the show for my boyfriend's birthday, as he really wanted to see it. Having read the book, I sort of knew what to expect. The show itself was brilliant, would highly recommend. Something a bit different from the musicals playing at West End.

hajnalkakurti 170, 16 reviews, 0 helpful votes
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