Animal Farm opened last night to a sold out audience and is a stylish adaptation of the classic novel by George Orwell. With its unique wit and contrasting themes, the text is one of my favourite classics, so I had high hopes for the production. I was curious to see how a story driven by speaking animals may be brought to the human stage in a way that maintained its severity and seriousness.

I was surprised that the experience was not so complicated and rather direct in its delivery. Dramatic oration of the tale with some interesting characterizations made the production feel rather earthy and tasteful. It was delivered like a Homeric recitation in that the sole performer (Dale March) stood before us and told the story as a narrator. The speech was lyrical and rhythmic in a way that isn’t commonly seen anymore. March’s presence was menacing and twisted in a strangely enthralling way and the narrative voice suited well with the tone of the novel.

 The design and atmospherics were simplistic also, with a score that aided in the building of tension and lighting that moved the story from place to place. The set design was curios, with the stage lighting up in strange and often confusingly meaningless patterns and shapes throughout the performance. This left a little to be desired.

 Overall it was a memorably atmospheric and direct production. I am impressed by how much tone was created with so little. With Orwell’s words as a driving force, this production brought feeling to my stomach and was unlike anything I’ve seen in quite some time.

 On May 1 – 3

Director and adaptor: Geordie Brookman

Featuring: Dale March

This Month in Sydney

Until 25 August 2019

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Australian National Maritime Museum

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From intimate portraits to wild landscapes. Internationally-acclaimed exhibition Wildlife Photographer of the Year returns to the museum on until 25 August.

On loan from the Natural History Museum in London, these 100 extraordinary images celebrate the diversity of the natural world, from intimate animal portraits to astonishing wild landscapes.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the most prestigious photography event of its kind, running for more than 50 years. It has a pivotal role in providing a global platform to showcase the natural world’s most powerful and challenging imagery.