Animal Farm at the Octagon Theatre

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
Animal Farm at Octagon Theatre Bolton
Image courtesy of Pamela Raith.

Animal Farm at Octagon Theatre, Bolton 1 — 24 February 2024 Tickets from £15.00 — Book now

Chilling, timeless and captivating, the animals of Manor Farm are staging a revolution at Octagon Theatre Bolton this February. In this powerful retelling of Animal Farm – produced by Octagon Theatre, Derby Theatre and Hull Truck – George Orwell’s enduring parable has been reworked for a contemporary audience.

With startling universal themes, the allegorical farmyard tale explores notions of power, corruption and the nature of political systems. Still as relevant today as when it was first published in 1945, Ian Wooldridge’s gripping theatrical adaptation takes Orwell’s themes of totalitarianism and abuse of power and places them vividly on stage.

An uprising. A revolution. Every animal will be free.

The Orwellian masterpiece takes the structure of an anthropomorphised farmyard fable to tell the story of the Russian Revolution and its aftermath. When the downtrodden animals of Manor Farm lead a revolt against their human masters, they believe it is the beginning of a life of liberty and equality for all. An uprising. A revolution. Every animal will be free.

However, as the most cunning and elite step up to take control, the other animals realise that there is a hierarchy and they are not as equal as they had once thought.

In this thrilling retelling of Animal Farm, the farmyard revolution unfolds under the ever-watching gaze of an omnipresent authority, and the audience are invited to explore the unsettling reality of constant surveillance; a society where every movement is investigated, confidence is shattered and trust becomes eroded.

George Orwell’s enduring parable has been reworked for a contemporary audience.

Directed by the highly-regarded Iqbal Khan (East is East, Birmingham Rep & National Theatre, Tartuffe, Royal Shakespeare Company, Opening Ceremony of Commonwealth Games), the full cast includes Samater Ahmed (Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet, Box Clever Theatre Company); Sam Black (Cyrano De Bergerac, Harold Pinter Theatre and BAM New York, Simon Stephen Presents, Royal Exchange); Amy Drake (Classic!, Hope Mill Theatre, Peter Pan, Octagon Theatre); Polly Lister (Jekyll and Hyde, Derby Theatre and Queens Theatre Hornchurch, One Man Two Guvnors, Octagon Theatre); Killian Macardle (Mind Mangler: Member of the Tragic Circle, Mischief Theatre); and Ida Regan (4 Walls, Derby Theatre, The Book Thief, Octagon Theatre).

Animal Farm in rehearsal. Image courtesy of Bolton Documentary Photography.

Director Iqbal Khan told us of the production, “I’m so delighted to be back at the Octagon and working with this incredibly exciting company. They are largely from the region and represent the thrilling range of talent here. I cannot wait to develop and explore this urgent adaptation of this great parable with them.”

The audience are invited to explore the unsettling reality of constant surveillance.

The tour of Animal Farm starts its revolution at Octagon Theatre Bolton from Thursday 1 – Saturday 24 February before transferring to Derby Theatre from Wednesday 28 February – Saturday 16 March and Hull Truck Theatre Wednesday 27 March – Saturday 13 April.

Recommended for ages 11+, this daring and contemporary production of Orwell’s devastating satire offers a handsome and resonant take on a well-studied literary classic.

Animal Farm at Octagon Theatre Bolton
Image courtesy of Octagon Theatre Bolton.

Animal Farm at Octagon Theatre, Bolton 1 — 24 February 2024 Tickets from £15.00 Book now

Where to go near Animal Farm at the Octagon Theatre

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