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18 September 2014
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A Clockwork Orange
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A Clockwork Orange is at the Everyman
An all female production of Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange has opened at the Everyman.
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Shifting production away from classics to plays with a broader audience appeal has paid off for Snap Theatre’s artistic director, Andy Graham. His aim of making theatre ‘interesting for young people’ certainly seemed successful on the opening night of A Clockwork Orange at the Everyman where, despite a warning on the flyers that the show was suitable only for the over fifteens, the audience comprised mainly of the under twenties.

Taking an all women cast and hurtling them into Burgess’s chilling vision of the future enables the essence of the story to come across with passion and effect. Burgess was critical of the infamous film version of his story directed by Stanley Kubrick; he felt that Kubrick did not take the essence of the book’s central theme when he translated it into film.

Penned by Burgess, and brought to life by Snap Theatre, A Clockwork Orange is a short but weighty play. Fast moving, the scenes are packed with affecting and dynamic content. Disturbing throughout, the text is not an easy ride.

A visual production, the images created in the mind by the text linger afterwards and are aided by effective stage projections. Subversive use of classical music enables the story to evoke a sense of horror, as does the confrontational and dominant physical presence of the actors on stage.

A Clockwork Orange cannot fail to affect. Each character is a victim of the society they live in and this evokes a realisation of a sense of place in society for the audience member. By blurring the boundaries between protagonist and antagonist each character seems deserving of sympathy and hate. Tackling the idea of whether evil is inherent in a person or due to youth and circumstance, what constitutes evil and how it is put into practice, this production relays Burgess’s message, in an original and effective performance.

Words: Emma Hardy

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