Next week, SUSU Theatre Group are performing George Orwell’s 1984 at their second home, The Annex Theatre. 1984 is a play exploring the issues surrounding a ruling party that bans individuality, alongside lovers experiencing feelings for each other that they must suppress. With thought-provoking scenes and shocking content, 1984 is bound to have you hooked hours after the curtain closes.
We spoke to one of the co-directors, John Erskine, to see what the cast and crew have in store for us next week.
You’ve all been in several plays with Theatre Group since you started at Southampton. How have you enjoyed being involved from the other side of the stage?
JE: We have loved being on the other side of the stage; it’s a huge challenge and organisation has been a crazy shock but watching a story unfold in your mind to suddenly moulding people into doing it makes it worth it. Also – you’ll never realise how much it changes when working with other people, watching your ideas mesh with theirs and then creating even better ones, and then them suggesting things that you would never have even thought of. It has given insights into acting and as a director you’ve immersed yourself, not only into one person but into fourteen and then into a world and a party and … so forth.
What has been the biggest challenge of directing 1984 for you, especially as your directing debuts?
JE: Organisation! Making sure we’re where we need to be and everything is on point and nothing has been forgotten – but Ruthie [Pinion] and David [Schult] been sick for that, and Ruth [Endersby]’s been like our lead director, making sure we’re all on track.
Finally, why should people come see it next week?
JE: People should come see it, because it’s bringing forth new actors and bringing out stuff that we’ve never seen some people do before – it’s a challenge no doubt – it mixes film and sound and has intense and violent and touching scenes – such a spectrum . It’s a fascinating topic, so nail-bitingly close to a satire of the potential of our own world, that you read it and can even forget that this is all completely fiction.
1984 is playing in The Annex Theatre from Wednesday 18th to Saturday 21st March at 7:30pm. Don’t miss out on what is sure to be a memorable production. You can reserve tickets here.