Northern Ballet’s 1984 London premiere

Charlotte Maxwell
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This may Northern Ballet’s 1984 will have its London Premiere at Sadler’s Wells. For seven performances only, Northern Ballet brings Jonathan Watkins’ critically acclaimed 1984, ‘the ballet equivalent of a page turner’ (The Stage), to life.

In Northern Ballet’s 1984, Ministry of Truth worker Winston Smith lives in a world of absolute conformity, his every action scrutinised by Big Brother. Whilst outwardly conforming to Party doctrine, he is secretly disillusioned, illegally documenting his thoughts in a diary. One day he receives a love letter from Julia and the pair begin an illicit affair, leading a dangerous double life putting physical desire above Party discipline. As their romance blossoms and they prepare for an act of political rebellion, Winston and Julia discover that Big Brother is always watching and no one can be trusted – least of all themselves.

Choreographed by Jonathan Watkins, whose recent credits include Kes for Sheffield Crucible Theatre, 1984 is the first full-length ballet adaptation of George Orwell’s renowned novel. The production had its World Première in September 2015, and is set to an original score by Tony-nominated composer Alex Baranowski.

‘George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four has been a constant inspiration to me since I first read it at 15. It is a powerful and thought-provoking allegory that now, more than ever, has resonance with the times in which we are living,’ said Watkins.

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‘This production challenges the idea of what stories can be told through dance and the dramatic talent of our dancers will draw the audience into the very core of this literary masterpiece,’ said David Nixon, OBE, Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director.

Northern Ballet’s 1984 will be showing at Sadler’s Wells from 24-28 May 2016. Tickets are on sale now and can be booked from Sadler’s Wells online or by calling the box office on 0844 412 4300.

About Charlotte Maxwell

Charlotte Maxwell is a Vada Magazine staff writer.