The Big Brother it's OK to Like - John Hurt Returns to 1984 in Forthcoming Spring 2010 Production

Posted: 14th January 2010

Last year, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of George Orwell's visionary and influential book '1984', the Paper Zoo Theatre Company presented a unique and chilling version of the story at the local Bradford National Media Museum. Using special projections featuring the familiar face of leading acting legend John Hurt (he originally starred in the film version from 1984, fittingly), the company created a 'full-in-your-face' version that impressed audiences and critics alike.

Now the same theatre team is taking the story of dystopian utopias governed by Big Brother to two new venues for one-off performances. The first stop is in Sale, Greater Manchester at the Waterside Arts Centre on February 19th followed by a trip to Wakefield's Arts Centre on the 24th (the latter also features a double-bill with Orwell's other classic, 'Animal Farm'). Tickets for both performances are £12 (the double-bill in Wakefield is at a special price of £15).

'1984' concerns one man's constant battle with the government in the mythical country of Oceania - that man is Winston Smith and the government is known as 'Big Brother'. They watch the citizen's every move using CCTV and control them with censorship and corruptions of the psyche and sexual fulfillment. John Hurt initially played the part of Smith in the film version in the 80s but here he appears as the projected image of Big Brother on a large backdrop behind the cast. It looks bloody excellent from the rehearsal pictures (, although considerably less scary that some of our current politicians, it has to be said. This Big Brother is also a damn sight better than (and totally unrelated to) watching mung-witted celebs on TV running naked around a garden with a daffodil in their jacksies!

John Hurt is currently filming more Harry Potter films as well as the follow-up to the sinister 1982 film 'Tron', titled 'Tron Legacy'.

Paul Pledger