Stage version of dystopian classic returns — it’s lively and fun, but also cartoon-like and unmoving.
★★★ James Dacre’s leadership of this twin theatre is certainly lively: a dark Oklahoma, King John in Magna Carta year, Arthur Miller’s forgotten The Hook (cheekily, since then Radio 4 has been claiming the “first” production). Add a powerful Brave New World, and now to ring the changes, a preposterously melodramatic, delightfully nasty neo-Victorian melodrama by Patrick Hamilton.
Energy and fidelity to the intriguing source material are not enough to distinguish Brave New World at the King’s, in a touring production marred by odd choices and a curious lack of life.
Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel tells of a world divided by genetic design into castes – Alpha, Beta and so on – and controlled by drugs, recreational sex and facile diversions. Into this world comes ‘John the Savage’, an outsider from a reservation, raised on family, religion and Shakespeare – all of which civilisation has banned.
Off-West End, out of town and out of this world. I’ve seen a few shows recently that have left me feeling distinctly disquieted… for their visions of the future, their distortions of the past and potential armageddons. As usual, I’ve listed productions in closing date order, and the first on the list, Only Forever, finishes […]
Hot on the heels of Headlong’s obliquely brilliant treatment of 1984 comes a rival dystopia: Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World in 1931, eighteen years before Orwell and before the second war: the comparison is fascinating. Orwell saw ordinary people, recognizable but crushed by brutality and surveillance, thoughtcrime punished and history denied by violence. Its science is basic – telescreens, shredded newsprint and photos.
Touring Consortium Theatre Company and Royal & Derngate Northampton present the world premiere of a brand new stage adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s seminal novel BRAVE NEW WORLD, opening on Friday 4 September 2015, with a national press night in Northampton on Tuesday 8 September.