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Animal Farm
Anilmal Farm
Animal Farm at the Playhouse
George Orwell's Animal Farm as told by Guy Masterson is at the Liverpool Playhouse, Emma Hardy reviews...
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I have a small obsession with 20th century Russian history, and for anyone like me Animal Farm is a set text. The last time I saw Animal Farm, it was as a cartoon. Some of the depth and powerfulness of the messages were lost and it was reduced to little more than a child’s fable.

I was wary of this performance of Animal Farm, from the pen of Guy Masterson. It could so easily have been reduced to a re-telling of the book, without feeling or passion. However, single-handedly taking on Orwell’s classic, Lizzie Wort makes an amazing stage presence, as the storyteller and every member of the cast, be it bovine, feline or human.

Masterson’s play, as did Orwell’s original text, exemplifies a stark and moving revelation of the horrors seen in apparently civilised society. A well-chosen performer is needed to convey these concepts. The allegory, the metaphors, and the shocking notions exemplified in the story of the rebellion by the animals of Manor Farm are portrayed by Lizzie in this one-(wo)man show in a manner that shows understanding and competence. She has the energy, enthusiasm and ability to do it. This is a play that leaves you tired thorough just watching the performer on stage.

Lizzie is a very pretty girl, but as she told us after last night’s show, she is terrified that the faces she has to pull to make herself look Napoleon the pig may leave her with wrinkles when she is older. She says, "It’d be worth it," and I couldn’t agree more. To be able to perform this piece with the passion and quality that she does is a huge achievement, and one she should be proud of it.

Words: Emma Hardy

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