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Can Going to the Theater Be a Traumatic Experience?

British playwrights and directors Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan first staged their theatrical adaptation of George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel 1984 in 2013, and the production played successfully to British and international audiences. However, the play, said to be true to the original writing, did not make it to Broadway until June 2017. After Donald Trump took office in the United States and the concept of “alternative facts” came to light, interest in 1984 and the kind of “thoughtcrime” described in the book skyrocketed. The Broadway production of 1984 has been described as an assault on the senses, with flashing strobe lights, a thundering jackhammer, and a lot of blood. Some theatergoers have had extreme reactions -- fainting, vomiting, and unrest have all been spawned by the play's unrelenting violence.

An intense night at the theater:

  • In Orwell’s dystopian classic, protagonist Winston Smith is brutally tortured for resisting the totalitarian regime led by Big Brother. While some adaptations have toned down the violence, the Hudson Theater production does not.
  • “The torture scenes are visceral, ghastly, and hair-raisingly vivid,” wrote one critic.
  • In the wake of Trump’s election, the book climbed to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list -- nearly 70 years after it was first published.
Discussion Comments
By anon998560 — On Jul 05, 2017

Since my web browser informs me that the sign in window for this site is not secure (subject to compromise), I'll just post "as is".

As the prior poster pointed out so well, the legacy media has been spoon feeding its viewers partisan, ideological drivel for years. The slant of the presentation of information about this play, 1984, is that the election of Donald Trump is a portent of suppression of freedom. As has been typical of legacy media, nothing could be further from the truth. It is the thrust of President Trump's policy to relieve people of overbearing government oversight and regulation.

Of course, that also means that individuals have to be responsible to look out for a greater share of their own well-being and not leave it to Big Brother to do all their thinking and planning for them. To those not up to the task of self-reliance, that may be an unsettling prospect. However, to those who prefer to run their own lives, this is a turn toward sanity. If you conscientiously work at looking after yourself you will always be better off than letting government do all things for you.

By anon998559 — On Jul 04, 2017

It's too bad that it took attacks on the new president to bring to light the fact that so much of what has been presented as news to us for decades now has been nothing more than Orwellian "alternative facts".

One thing for sure though, is that while many weren't already aware of how much spin has been given to us as news, the comparisons to "1984" have been well documented for some time now.

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