This summer, the stage version of George Orwell’s 1984 is making the trip from the West End stage to Broadway. The play was created by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan, and originally produced in London. In moving to the New York stage, 1984 will keep its London creative team and add a whole new American cast, who have yet to be revealed. 1984 was also nominated for the Olivier Award, and has received warm praise from the Los Angeles Times:
In a world in which two plus two is said to no longer equal four, reality is nearly impossible to pin down. This production, exhibiting remarkable concentration when it’s needed most, allows us to viscerally experience the brutality of such a regime. The staging is clamorous, but when the performers speak you may find yourself leaning in to hear them.
Icke and Macmillan have picked their moment to move to the United States with excellent timing. 1984 the book made headlines recently when it topped Amazon’s bestseller list, nearly 68 years after its publication. According to American publishers Signet Classics, sales have increased 9,500 percent since Donald Trump’s inauguration, with a 20 percent rise in the U.K. Many speculate that the increase in popularity could be due to the spread of false information from the new administration, Kellyanne Conway’s use of the phrase “alternative facts” and “Orwellian” suddenly becoming a buzzword.
As of today, 1984 is still at the top of Amazon’s bestseller list, second only to Milo Yiannopoulos’ Dangerous. Looking at the bestseller list, it is a stark and disturbing visual representation of our divided America. You can purchase a copy of 1984 here, if only to bump a racist, sexist narcissist off of the number-one spot. It’s only $7.79 for a paperback copy with Amazon Prime, and it’s for a good cause.
1984 the play will open for a limited run at the Hudson Theater on Thursday, June 22. Tickets have yet to go on sale, but it’d probably be a good idea to continually check the Hudson Theater website. If the play is anywhere near as popular as the book, tickets will sell out fast. Click here to read Paste’s list of the best Orwell quotes of all time, and watch a chilling trailer for 1984 the play below.