Attempting to adapt for the stage a world as complex, dense and richly detailed as that of the Party’s in Orwell’s famous dystopian parable is as daunting as the contents of Room 101. However fearless theatre makers Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan not only achieve an artfully realised retelling of the pitilessly doomed forbidden love affair between Winston and Julia, but also illuminate the chillingly pertinent modern day parallels with Orwell’s prophetic vision of a world under surveillance and a population complicit in its own enslavement.

The genius of this British production is in its shifting perspectives, placing the action simultaneously in the past, present and future. Using Orwell’s appendix, The Principles of Newspeak,as a framing device, bookending the central story of Winston Smith’s illegal relationship with fellow activist Julia, our perception of the passage of time is challenged and warped. A group of characters, possibly from a time after 2050, discuss the significance and authenticity of a historical document – Winston’s diary. Some praise it as a bold, defiant manifesto, other’s question if it’s an accurate account, or blindly swallow it as gospel. The discourse of this debate infuses an atmosphere of uncertainty into the unfolding narrative that...