Shakespeare Theatre Company to Stage 1984

Mar 1, 2016

Next up in the 2015-2016 season The Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) presents 1984 as part of an ongoing initiative to include productions by international companies on its mainstage. Created and directed by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan, 1984 was originally produced by Headlong-an acclaimed U.K. theatre ensemble-with the support of the Nottingham Playhouse and The Almeida Theatre. Hailed by The Guardian as a "superbly handled multimedia exploration," 1984 will play at the Lansburgh Theatre (450 7th Street NW) from March 11-April 10, 2016.

"Headlong's version of George Orwell's 1984 is a striking multimedia production that explores surveillance and identity, and it is an important, relevant show to bring to Washington," says STC Artistic Director Michael Kahn. "Following such critical success in the U.K., I am pleased to present 1984 here in D.C. Hopefully, it will inspire not only a national but an international dialogue about this work and what it means to us."

"For 1984, we were interested in looking at important canonical texts whilst asking the questions: Why are these texts important? Are these texts still important? What have they got to say?" adaptors and directors Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan explain. "Our responsibility is to whoever is in the room and who wrote the text originally, and we're trying to connect the audience and the world of now with what the text is. And with tours, we get to connect with more audiences, more 'world-of-nows.'"

Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan's 1984 is an intense, true-to-the-book, re-imagining of Orwellian totalitarianism. It is April, 1984. 13:00. Comrade 6079, 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. George Orwell's chilling vision of a dystopian future is brought to life in a radical multimedia production. Called "a brilliant retelling" by The Guardian, Headlong's production of 1984 explores surveillance, identity, and the security state.

Headlong's production first premiered at Nottingham Playhouse in 2013, before embarking on successful U.K. tours and West End runs. Following a recent run at Boston's American Repertory Theater, the production will continue its U.S. tour at the Shakespeare Theatre Company.

The company features Matthew Spencer as Winston Smith and Hara Yannas as Julia. Other cast members include Simon Coates (Parsons), Tim Dutton (O'Brien), Stephen Fewell (Charrington), Christopher Patrick Nolan (Martin), Ben Porter (Syme), Mandi Symonds (Mrs. Parsons), Koral Kent (Child), and Anaïs Killian (Child).

The creative team are Robert Icke (Adaptor/Director), Duncan Macmillan (Adaptor/Director), Chloe Lamford (Designer), Natasha Chivers (Lighting Designer), Tom Gibbons (Sound Designer), Tim Reid (Video Designer), and Daniel Raggett (Associate Director).

Opening Night for 1984 is Monday, March 14. The production runs from Friday, March 11 through Sunday, April 10. To purchase tickets or to learn more, patrons can call the box office at 202.547.1122 or visit

1984 is supported by Dr. Paul and Mrs. Rose Carter and the British Council. Restaurant Partner, Jaleo.