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A Platform for Orwell: TFTV and Their Process

Hope Jennings-Grounds reports on the production and process of the TFTV department's latest 'Platform' project

Image: Platform Production

Platform is a department-run group in TFTV which offers students of the department an
opportunity to create a funded theatre production fully organised and put
together by them.

Every term, Platform allow groups of students to put on a new play after their committee
carefully select a director and producer to go forward and build their production team and cast.

To kick off the new year, this term, Daniel Loftus will be directing a play adaption of
George Orwell’s 1984 with Emily Wood taking the role of producer. Together they will be
taking this dystopian challenge and creating a possibly technologically explorative and expressive piece of theatre ready to be performed to the public
during the eighth week of this term. Although the process of turning creative
ideas into a physical performance is only just beginning, I think it’s safe to
say that this won’t be a Platform production to miss.

Producer of the show, Emily Wood told me:

“I’m so excited to see the work begin on this terrifying dystopian classic. Our cast is
doubleplusgood, and the crew are a force to be reckoned with! This show won’t
be for the faint of heart.”

 Although the novel was originally published in 1949, the book is set in the date of its
title. Orwell depicted a world in which it is a crime to think, express
yourself or your own individuality. It presents the character of Winston’s
journey of defying this regime, leading to him facing the horrors and politics of the Party, the group responsible for the extent of control being enforced upon society.

Daniel Loftus, the director of Platform's adaption explains:


“Orwell wrote 1984 nearly seventy years ago, envisioning a dark future of mass observation
and widespread political deception. Looking at the state of our world now- the
sway of fake news in our democracy, the control over our private data that is
possessed by companies such as Facebook- it becomes abundantly clear that the
only thing wrong about Orwell’s vision of the future is the date.” 


In a world in which governments and leaders make decisions which often don’t benefit the
people they should be trying to help, I think that although 1984 has been and
gone, the message that the story brought to life still burns strong. Whatever

your political beliefs are, it’s often easy to forget how little power people
actually have over how much the world works in their favour and who society
actually functions around. Perhaps comparing a world in which people
can’t express originality to modern day Britain is an extreme thing to do;
however, George Orwell certainly puts into perspective how quickly things
change and how even though we can seemingly still be ourselves, what don’t we
have control over that perhaps we should?

Although it was written in a time where 1984 was the future, and it is now the past for us, I feel like it’s just as relevant and thought-provoking now as it would have been when it was first written.

Why take this classic novel and put it on stage? This is something that has happened
with more recently written novels such as the beloved story of Harry Potter. George
Orwell’s 1984 and the fast-paced and incredibly adapted stage version, in my
opinion, offers a space in which the characters are incredibly linked and woven
together. Theatre for me, is an intimate sort of entertainment due to the close
quarters between the performers and the audience, which creates direct
links for the stories and emotions to cross between the two parties.

I think it's really exciting for an audience to be able to see the power struggle within 1984, how that
interacts closely with aspects of truth and reality.
I feel like 1984 will be one of those plays that have you on the edge of your
seat and leaves you with a lot to think about. Look out for Platform’s 1984 on
social media to keep up to date with the process and keep an eye out for when
tickets go on sale. 

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