George Orwell’s classic novel was adapted for stage by director Peter Hall for the National Theatre in 1984. There are a number of songs with lyrics by Adrian Mitchell and an original score by Richard Peaslee.
Subtitled by Orwell as a ‘fairy story’ Animal Farm is an allegory of the events of the Russian Revolution of 1917. It deals with the ideas of freedom, rebellion and the corrupting nature of power.
"When the downtrodden animals of Manor Farm overthrow their master Mr Jones and take over the farm themselves, they imagine it is the beginning of a life of freedom and equality. But gradually a cunning, ruthless élite among them - masterminded by the pigs - starts to take control. Soon the other animals discover that they are not all as equal as they thought and find themselves hopelessly ensnared as one form of tyranny is replaced with another. Orwell's chilling 'fairy story' is a timeless and devastating satire of idealism betrayed by power and corruption." (Penguin Modern Classics)
The Director, Anna Jones says that she "has always loved this book and the resulting play provides an exciting creative challenge although there will be no crawling on all fours or creature masks, as animals characteristics will represented through physicalisation and noises. This is a play with songs rather than a musical – but there will be singing and music with Rob Harris as Musical Director. The play particularly appeals due to its ensemble gender/age fluid cast.