Big Brother is watching you: Sunderland theatre stages Orwell classic 1984

1984 at the Royalty Theatre'From left Michael Luke as Winston Smith and Billy Towers as O'Brien

1984 at the Royalty Theatre'From left Michael Luke as Winston Smith and Billy Towers as O'Brien

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A play based on the novel that brought us the terms Big Brother and Room 101 is being staged in Sunderland this week.

George Orwell’s 1984 will be staged at the Royalty Theatre, off Chester Road, until Saturday.

1984 at the Royalty Theatre'From left Michael Luke as Winston Smith and Billy Towers as O'Brien

1984 at the Royalty Theatre'From left Michael Luke as Winston Smith and Billy Towers as O'Brien

The dystopian classic that introduced the concepts of Big Brother, Room 101 and doublespeak to popular culture has been brought to the Royalty’s stage by director Mik Richardson.

Mik said: “I’m delighted to be directing this play as it’s my all-time favourite novel, and despite being written in the 1940s, it is still completely relevant today.”

The play features a cast of both familiar actors and new faces to the theatre, and is fronted by Michael Luke as Winston Smith, Billy Towers as O’Brien and Nikki Briggs as Julia.

First published in 1949, 1984 is set in Airstrip One (formerly known as Great Britain), a province of the superstate Oceania in a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation, dictated by a political system named English Socialism.

It’s the first main stage play of 2016 for the community theatre. Other productions to look forward to this year include Treasure Island from March 21-26, The Vagina Monologues from April 27-30, Steel Magnolias from May 16-21 and The Pitmen Painters from June 20-25.

Admission for all shows is £8 for all shows, £6.50 concessions.

Tickets are available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/royaltytheatre or on 0333 666 3366.