Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BWW REVIEW: Emerging Director And Playwright Saro Lusty-Cavallari Delivers A Captivating Adaptation Of George Orwell's ANIMAL FARM For New Theatre.

pixeltracker

ANIMAL FARM

BWW REVIEW: Emerging Director And Playwright Saro Lusty-Cavallari Delivers A Captivating Adaptation Of George Orwell's ANIMAL FARM For New Theatre.

Wednesday 14th October 2020, 7:30pm, New Theatre, Sydney

Drawing on the timelessness of George Orwell's ANIMAL FARM, Saro Lusty-Cavallari's (Director and Adaptor) adaptation of the seemingly sweet but ultimately dark fable serves as a reminder of the need to challenge the actions and messages delivered by our leaders. Showing the dangers of power in the wrong hands, the allegory of the derailing of the altruistic ideals of the Russian Revolution echoes contemporary events with chilling relatability.

BWW REVIEW: Emerging Director And Playwright Saro Lusty-Cavallari Delivers A Captivating Adaptation Of George Orwell's ANIMAL FARM For New Theatre. Democratic socialist novelist and journalist George Orwell first wrote the novella about farm animals taking back control of the farm as a response to the Russian Revolution of 1917 which abolished the monarchy and eventually devolved as the philosophies of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin made way for Joseph Stalin's brutal dictatorship. At first glance the story, which has become a reader favourite but was once banned from multiple school districts, seems like a sweet children's tale of disgruntled talking animals deciding to take control of their lives but it twists into something much darker as the old patterns start repeating but this time with animals they thought were their allies morphing into snout and trottered images of their original oppressor.

BWW REVIEW: Emerging Director And Playwright Saro Lusty-Cavallari Delivers A Captivating Adaptation Of George Orwell's ANIMAL FARM For New Theatre. With most of the story taking place in or near Manor Farm's barn Set Designer Carmody Nicol has kept the stage design simple. The large timber barn walls are painted black to ensure the beige clad characters remain the focus while also providing a suitable surface for the commandments to be written in whitewash. The space is contained with a proscenium arch and bank of footlights although the Lusty-Cavallari frequently has movement incorporate the apron and the aisles. The Procenium also allows for a curtain to form a screen for the chapter titles and animations ensuring the story retains its connection to Orwell's original artform of the printed word. Costume designer Claudia Maribello thankfully resists any temptation to try to make the performers look like animals opting for a clean look of an assortment of beige work clothes with embroidered patches to identify what sort of animal they although some of the motifs can be a little hard to identify at a distance.

BWW REVIEW: Emerging Director And Playwright Saro Lusty-Cavallari Delivers A Captivating Adaptation Of George Orwell's ANIMAL FARM For New Theatre. Lusty-Cavallari infuses a contemporary speech to the dialogue which he has had to create for the stage adaptation. He ensures that it is clear from the start that this is definitely not a childrens' story with both the language and the overt expression of anger and hatred. He draws on recognizable speech patterns to ensure that characters underlying natures are easily identifiable with particular note going to Zoe Crawford's propaganda spouting Squealer as she captures every political spin doctor's condescending gaslighting.

BWW REVIEW: Emerging Director And Playwright Saro Lusty-Cavallari Delivers A Captivating Adaptation Of George Orwell's ANIMAL FARM For New Theatre. The entire ensemble delivers a strong and captivating performance and Lusty-Cavallari ensures that the pace is maintained. Jaymes Julian Wilson's sound design and Rhys Mendham's lighting design helps build the energy of the work with old world cinematic orchestral scores underpinning the rising of the revolution and the realization that Napoleon has been building a force of henchmen with the litter of forcefully acquired puppies. While the aftermath of battle is shown with blood, the greater scale of the death and destruction is reinforced with lighting and the feeling that 'big brother' or 'big pig' is always watching the animals is felt as spotlights follow characters up the aisles of the auditorium.

BWW REVIEW: Emerging Director And Playwright Saro Lusty-Cavallari Delivers A Captivating Adaptation Of George Orwell's ANIMAL FARM For New Theatre. Whether you remember reading the book, probably in high school, or you've never been exposed to the political warning of Orwell's work, this expression of ANIMAL FARM is worth catching. Whilst not trying to directly compare the events of Manor Farm to contemporary politics, revisiting the story reinforces that humans don't inherently change and that care and vigilance needs to be maintained when power is given to ensure that promises are kept and stories aren't spun and distorted.

https://newtheatre.org.au/animal-farm/

Photos: Bob Seary

BWW REVIEW: Emerging Director And Playwright Saro Lusty-Cavallari Delivers A Captivating Adaptation Of George Orwell's ANIMAL FARM For New Theatre.


Related Articles View More Australia - Sydney Stories

Buy at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

From This Author Jade Kops