ANIMAL FARM. Howden Park Centre. June 15th – 17th 2012
Written by George Orwell. Adapted by Peter Hall. Directed by Eleanor Morrison
Performed by Company B and Livingston Seniors.
Artfully directed by Eleanor Morrison, 24 young performers (ranging in age from 13 to 18) produced a stream of startling, poignant and menacing performances in last weekend’s production of George Orwell’s Animal Farm at Howden Park Centre.
Framed by a rural constructivist set, an ingenious collective of farm animals and charmingly pyjama’d narrators move from initial murmurings of rebellion, through aspiration for equity and independence, then stealthily down an unsettling path of greed, oppression and corruption. As Benjamin the donkey wryly notes, “However much things change, they always remain the same.”
Deep dark thoughts indeed. But nothing will keep our talented and irrepressible young performers down. Their grasp of themes, characterization and political undertones was impressive. Most performers played several parts, and all took part in the seamlessly interwoven BSL signing that is steadily becoming a Firefly trademark.
And if that wasn’t enough to keep our young people off the streets and facebook, then the vocal coaching regime needed for the cast to master the complex songs in this adaptation could well have been the last straw (and we’ve all probably had enough of straw for now).
But no. They took up the challenge, embraced and aced it. An astonishing and significant collective achievement. Long Live Animal Farm….
Special thanks to:
Jess Brettle Design. Malcolm Rogan Lighting Design. Naomi Stalker Stage Manager
Alison Brown Costume Design. Polly Philips Vocal Coach. Rob Harrison Music. Sinclair MacKenzie Photography.
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