Political powerhouse Van Badham (Banging Denmark, The Guardian) delivers an internet-fast brilliantly sharp adaptation of George Orwell’s response to authoritarian government in Animal Farm.

This is Orwell not like you've seen before, but a contemporary styled version. The characters and plot adhere to his seminal allegory of anti-Stalinist satire, but with an infusion of modern technology and politics.

The play will be a veritable “Barnyard Collage” using many different ways of depicting animals – masks, onesies and actual animals (on screen). The set design includes a giant cinema-sized screen as the backdrop, shared with actors on stage. The play will be a power-packed 75 minutes, a wacky and wild ride of different worlds on screen and on stage, where the audience can see how propaganda is manipulated into truth. Think CNN meets the ABC meets Fox News.

The farm animals conjure up many real-life counterparts that feel eerily familiar. Napoleon, the power-hungry pig with a knack for distorting reality; Squealer, the spokesperson (or should we say spokespig?) with no fears of conscience; Boxer, the hard worker who remains loyal - right up until he is ultimately betrayed. Old Major’s dream of a utopian society of equality (coined animalism) free from human dominance, is subverted by Napoleon and quickly loyalties are divided, promises betrayed and mayhem ensues.

These archetypes have been seen before, not just in the pages of George Orwell’s original novella, but in real world scenarios across the globe. In politics, corporations, and businesses. Selfish gain at the expense of others.  

The maxim “Four legs good, two legs better” soon replaces the old maxim condemning two legs and by the end of the play Napoleon is indistinguishable from his human predecessors.

State Theatre Centre
174-176 William St
WA 6000

Heath Ledger Theatre
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