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About the Author: George Orwell

Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist. His work is marked by keen intelligence and wit, a profound awareness of social injustice, an intense opposition to totalitarianism, a passion for clarity in language, and a belief in democratic socialism.

In addition to his literary career Orwell served as a a police officer with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma from 1922-1927 and fought with the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War from 1936-1937. Orwell was severely wounded when he was shot through his throat. Later the organization that he had joined when he joined the Republican cause,The Workers Party of Marxist Unification (POUM), was painted by the pro-Soviet Communists as a Trotskyist organization (Trotsky was Joseph Stalin's enemy) and disbanded. Orwell and his wife were accused of "rabid Trotskyism" and tried in absentia in Barcelona, along with other leaders of the POUM, in 1938. However by then they had escaped from Spain and returned to England.

Between 1941 and 1943, Orwell worked on propaganda for the BBC. In 1943, he became literary editor of the Tribune, a weekly left-wing magazine. He was a prolific polemical journalist, article writer, literary critic, reviewer, poet and writer of fiction, and, considered perhaps the twentieth century's best chronicler of English culture.

Orwell is best known for the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (published in 1949) and the satirical novella Animal Farm (1945) — they have together sold more copies than any two books by any other twentieth-century author. His 1938 book Homage to Catalonia, an account of his experiences as a volunteer on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil War, together with numerous essays on politics, literature, language, and culture, are widely acclaimed.

Orwell's influence on contemporary culture, popular and political, continues decades after his death. Several of his neologisms, along with the term "Orwellian" — now a byword for any oppressive or manipulative social phenomenon opposed to a free society — have entered the vernacular.


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Goodreads rating: 4.13

Paperback, Published in Sep 2014 by Oberon Books

ISBN10: 1783190612 | ISBN13: 9781783190614

Page count: 96

April, 1984. Winston Smith, thinks a thought, starts a diary, and falls in love. But Big Brother is watching him, and the door to Room 101 can swing open in the blink of an eye. Its ideas have become our ideas, and Orwell’s fiction is often said to be our reality. The definitive book of the 20th century is re-examined in a radical new adaptation exploring why Orwell’s vision of the future is as relevant as ever.

"This is a staging that reconsiders a classic with such steely power that it chills brain, blood and bone." - The Times

"[A] pitilessly brilliant retelling." - Guardian

"This risk-taking adaptation of George Orwell's masterpiece is doubleplusgood." - Telegraph

"A theatrical tour de force that has the destructive power of an earthquake." - The Stage

"Skilfully brought to life.... This is a very neat theatrical telling of the classic dystopian parable which is more a study of internal tension and tiny acts of defiance as it is a political drama... a work of extraordinary quality and intensity." - Independent

Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist and journalist, whose most famous works include the novella Animal Farm, and the classic dystopia 1984.

Duncan Macmillan is an award-winning writer and director. Plays include: Lungs (Paines Plough/Sheffield Crucible and Studio Theatre Washington D.C.), Platform (Old Vic Tunnels), Monster (Royal Exchange/Manchester International Festival), The Most Humane Way to Kill A Lobster (Theatre 503), I Wish To Apologise For My Part In The Apocalypse, So Say All of Us and Family Tree (all BBC Radio 4).

Robert Icke was artistic director of the Arden Theatre Company in Stockton-on-Tees from 2003–7 and of the Swan Theatre Company in Cambridge from 2005–8, where he was awarded the Susie Gautier-Smith Prize for his contribution to theatre.

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