Big Brother is coming to Broadway with the stage version of George Orwell’s 1984 in previews at New York’s Hudson Theatre ahead of a June 22 opening.
Stars Olivia Wilde and Tom Sturridge are acting in the play, which started London. George Orwell’s 1949 dystopian classic novel became a sudden bestseller following the election of President Trump.
‘Never Trumpers’ equated the American political landscape with Orwell’s totalitarian superstate presided over by Big Brother, even though the comparisons are somewhat inexact.
But the producers of 1984 agree and have used distorted images of Donald Trump, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and leading adviser Kellyanne Conway in TV adverts that have just started airing for the show, against the backdrop of phrases such as “Freedom is Slavery” and “War is Peace.”
Images of Donald Trump and Sean Spicer from ‘1984’ TV ads
The connection between authoritarianism and government dishonesty on stage and in reality couldn’t be more clearly drawn. The fact that Trump hasn’t taken America to war nor assaulted basic freedoms is a moot point. New plays on Broadway need all the help they can get to sell tickets.
And Trump is a popular hate figure. (Julius Caesar, who gets brutally assassinated in the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park, bears alarming resemblance to the President).
Perhaps, more pertinently, the President is also great box office.