This dynamic, sharply political theatrical adaptation of George Orwell's cautionary classic comes to New Zealand on the back of its smash-hit run across the world.

Download the programme for 1984 here

April, 1984. 13:00. Comrade 6079, Winston Smith, thinks a thought, starts a diary, and falls in love. But Big Brother is always watching.

Set in a world where an invasive government keeps a malevolently watchful eye on its citizens, this radical and much-lauded staging explores surveillance, identity and why George Orwell’s vision of the future is as relevant now as ever. Orwell’s fiction has become our reality.

From UK theatrical innovators Headlong, Orwell’s dystopian classic came roaring onto the stage in 2013 and since then it has become an international phenomenon. Seen by more than 500,000 people, it has enjoyed three hugely successful West End seasons and is a current hit on Broadway. Now as part of the Auckland Arts Festival, and to mark Auckland Theatre Company’s 25th anniversary, the chilling prescience of Orwell is presented in its New Zealand premiere. 

A literary masterpiece meets sheer theatrical ambition as one of the 20th century’s greatest novels is given new life by some of the British theatre’s fastest rising stars.

 1984. Book now. Big Brother is watching!


Read the review in National Business Review here
Papaya Stories reviews 1984 here

audio and tt2

Tues 20 March - touch tour (6pm) & audio described performance (7pm)

EXTRAThe Office of the Privacy Commissioner and Auckland Arts Festival present: Orwell’s 1984: A book, a film, a play… and now a reality?
Privacy perspectives from the arts, media and a State Watchdog
Coinciding with the Auckland Arts Festival and Auckland Theatre Company season of 1984 – 70 years since the book hit the shelves, is there more to say about this dystopian touchstone of privacy, surveillance and identity? We invite you to find out.
Chairing our distinguished, informed and provocative panel is Tim McBride, author of the New Zealand Civil Rights Handbook – a champion of civil liberties and privacy since the 1970s and whose 1987 report resulted in the Privacy Act 1993. The panel includes 1984 lead actor Terence Crawford, who plays O’Brien, the main antagonist of Winston Smith. Terence is an adjunct professor at the University of Adelaide. He is uniquely placed for this discussion, not only because of his role in the show, but from his experience as an academic and as a broad reader of Orwell's work. Well-known blogger, media commentator and presenter Russell Brown also joins the panel. Brown’s insights into media behaviour and the contemporary digital environment and his background in tech journalism place him well to tell whether New Zealand has its own 'Ministry of Truth'. Completing the panel is Intelligence and Security Inspector-General Cheryl Gwyn,  who is responsible for overseeing NZ intelligence and security agencies. Or perhaps we should say she looks over the shoulder of Big Brother?
Wed 14 March 12.30pm-1.30pm
Ellen Melville Pioneer Women’s Hall, Freyberg Place, Auckland

Associate director Corey McMahon talks to Radio New Zealand's Afternoons show about 1984. Listen here 

After working as associate director on 1984 Corey McMahon disabled his Facebook account - find out why here

Recommended for ages 14+

Contains violence, strobe lighting and loud sound effects.  

1984 is a Headlong, Nottingham Playhouse and Almeida Theatre production, presented by Auckland Arts Festival and GWB Entertainment in association with Auckland Theatre Company and State Theatre Company South Australia 

SAVE on booking fees CLICK HERE to buy tickets to multiple events 1



Parsons: Paul Blackwell
Winston: Tom Conroy
O’Brien: Terence Crawford
Julia: Rose Riley
Martin: Bill Allert
Syme: Guy O’Grady
Charrington: Simon London
Mrs Parsons: Fiona Press
Child: Madeleine Walker, Tia Ormsby

Creative Team
Co-Adaptor/Director: Robert Icke & Duncan MacMillan
Designer: Chloe Lamford
Lighting Designer: Natasha Chivers
Sound Designer:Tom Gibbons
Video Designer: Tim Reid
Associate Director (Australia): Corey McMahon
Associate Lighting Designer: Gavin Norris
Associate Sound Designer: Richard Bell
Associate Video Designer: Ian Valkeith
Assistant Director: Shannon Rush
Voice & Dialect Coach (Australian Tour 2017): Simon Stollery
Voice & Dialect Coach (Auckland season): Tiffany Knight

Click here for full list of credits

Presented by
GWB BW for website4
In association with
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ATC for website3
Produced by
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NP Logo Black for website6
Almeida logo for website4

***** "Masterfully constructed and chillingly frank, this adaptation of Orwell's dystopian masterpiece is a coup."