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George Orwell, Robert Icke, Duncan Macmillan

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  1. 96 pages
  2. English
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eBook - ePub


George Orwell, Robert Icke, Duncan Macmillan

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About This Book

April, 1984. Winston Smith thinks a thought, starts a diary, and falls in love. But Big Brother is watching him, and the door to Room 101 can swing open in the blink of an eye. Its ideas have become our ideas, and Orwell's fiction is often said to be our reality. The definitive book of the 20th century is re-examined in a radical new adaptation exploring why Orwell's vision of the future is as relevant as ever.

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Oberon Books
A clock strikes thirteen, a bell becoming digital.
A pin-spot on WINSTON’s face. WINSTON inhales, and looks toward us. He is a thin man in his late thirties.
An amplified voice is heard, though the speaker is unseen.
VOICE In that moment, it became real: the thing that he was about to do was to open a diary. If detected it would be punished by death.
A desk lamp flickers on, its light unstable. WINSTON clutches a pen. A book is in front of him. He is alone in a wood-panelled room, shelves stacked with books, folders, archive boxes. It could be in a library, a records room, it could be in a school, a prison, a government building. Rooms like this have existed all over the world for years. A corridor can be seen beyond a long window. He looks around, anxiously.
There was no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police watched any particular individual was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time.
A cream-coloured screen illuminates: a live-feed aerial shot of the blank page. The pen hovers over the paper.
In small, clumsy letters, WINSTON writes today’s date (in the format ‘April 4th’). WINSTON thinks. He scribbles out today’s date.
In the centre, below the date, WINSTON writes in larger letters ‘1984’.
Winston faltered for a second. He did not know with any certainty that this was 1984; it was never possible nowadays to pin down any date within a year or two.
WINSTON adds a question mark to the year.
Whether he went on with the diary or not made no difference. The Thought Police would get him just the same. He had committed, would still have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper, the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime.
The lights flicker.
Thoughtcrime could not be concealed for ever. Sooner or later they were bound to get you.
A deep red spot appears on the screen, expanding and brightening on the paper. WINSTON has a nosebleed.
Every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your previous existence was denied and then forgotten. You were deleted, annihilated: ‘unpersoned’ was the usual word.
WINSTON tends to his nose and the diary with a handkerchief.
For whom, it suddenly occurred to him to wonder, was he writing this diary? For the future. For the unborn.
The lights flickerfirst the desk lamp, then in the corridor.
His mind hovered for a moment round the doubtful date on the page, and then fetched up with a bump against the Newspeak word doublethink.
WINSTON looks up.
There is a sudden, total blackout. We hear WINSTON’s breathing. Then, with a flicker, the lights judder back on.
A COMPANY of people are now present. The HOST, a man in his 60s, speaks, reading over WINSTON’s shoulder, a gentle, benevolent presence. It is his voice we’ve been listening to.
It seems to be the present day.
HOST Doublethink.
How could you communicate with the future? It was of its nature impossible. Either the future would resemble the present, in which case it would not listen to him: or it would be different, and his words would be meaningless.
He was writing this diary for the future. For the unborn.
For us.
The HOST snaps the book shut.
This is the moment. A thought develops into action and everything, everything that follows becomes inevitable. Despite the consequences of doing so, as his pen touches the pa...

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