News / Community / 22nd October 2020
All eyes on 1984 production
Eleven months in the making, Coonabarabran Amateur Dramatic Society (CADS) staged its latest production – an adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984 – over the weekend.
Experienced director Michael Armstrong said the show was well-received.
“Having two nearly full-house audiences is testament to the great work CADS has been doing since reforming in 2016,” Mr Armstrong said.
“Audiences have come to expect engaging and enjoyable productions across a wide range of genres.
“While we have traditionally staged more comedic plays, 1984 was a great opportunity as a theatre group to engage with a more dramatic script.”
Originally scheduled for April, the production was forced to postpone a few weeks before opening due to COVID-19 restrictions.
But the wait was worth it.
A large screen on stage and four cleverly placed smaller screens featured a close-up of unflinching eyes, which scanned the audience every minute of the play.
Owner of the eyes was local lad Jack Ayoub, better known for his big baritone voice.
Although not there in person he left a strong impression as Big Brother in a cameo appearance on the video screen.
Many of the 100 patrons described the peering, expressionless eyes as an “unnerving” experience.
Orwell’s ninth and final book, 1984, is regarded as a classic of western literature.
The novel tells the story of two people attempting to build a relationship in a world where the government controls every aspect of their lives.
“In this COVID-19 time it’s impossible to not draw parallels between the strictly regulated world of Big Brother and the world we live in today,” Mr Armstrong said.
“The play could be considered a warning of what can happen if society is not vigilant.”
Stellar performances by CADS regulars Jenni Maundrell, James Moffat and Annabelle Park were supported by a cast and crew of 13 people, who have worked tirelessly for almost a year to bring the production together.
Regular performer, Rob Clifton, keeps getting better, adding depth to his twin roles of Comrade Syme and the humorous landlord. It was a splendid production where everybody shone.
The Dramatic Society is an inclusive group, staging two or three productions a year. Those interested in theatre are invited to reveal their talents on stage or help behind the scenes.
CADS will now start working towards their 2020-21 development program, with a Christmas holiday summer school for students from Years 4 to 12 who have a passion for drama and performance.