Was Sonia Brownell the inspiration for the character of Julia in 1984? What happened to her before and after she met and married George Orwell? Was she a gold digger or a tragic figure?
Tony Cox’s play Mrs Orwell did sufficiently good business in its run at the Old Red Lion last month that it has quickly transferred south of the river, to the Southwark Playhouse for an additional few weeks. Based on actual events but with a fair measure of artistic license thrown in, as with all the best stories, it sheds light on the final weeks of George Orwell’s life.
It’s not just umbrella festival programmes that keep myself and other London theatregoers busy in August. Here are some thoughts (and connections) on the other plays and musicals I’ve seen over the past week that are worth a look: Mrs Orwell, King Cowboy Rufus Rules the Universe, Boom and Salad Days.
Peter Hamilton Dyer and Cressida Bonas star as George Orwell and his second, much younger wife in the world premiere of Tony Cox’s MRS ORWELL, exploring the private side of one of the most public icons of the 20th century. This latest Proud Haddock production has a strictly limited season at London’s Old Red Lion Theatre from 1 to 26 August 2017. Check out the rehearsal photography here.