Robert Hampton

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30th October 2014

Posted by at 8.21pm | Stage | No responses

Animal Farm poster

I don’t get out as much as I’d like to. Working full time and studying for a degree in the evenings limits the amount of time I have for extracurricular activities. My routine recently has been get up, go to work, go to gym, come home, do a couple of hours of Open University study, (maybe) watch a bit of TV, go to bed. Lather, rinse, repeat. There’s not even much spare time to write any blog posts.

The above are all necessary parts of my life, but a bit of variety is needed to spice things up. So on Wednesday evening I arrived at Arts Club on Seel Street. I was there to see Animal Farm, a production of the small Liverpool outfit, Tell Tale Theatre. A bit of culture to break up the mundane week.

Animal Farm is an adaptation of George Orwell’s classic story. My memories of it are mixed. I remember it being a good book, but I read it as part of English lessons at school, which means it has negative associations for me. It was good to put those to bed and watch the show.

The main notable thing about Animal Farm is that nearly of all of the characters are animals. How do you portray that on stage? The solution adopted here is simply to have the cast, wearing normal clothes, depict the animals through their physical movements. It’s a bit surprising and disconcerting at first, but after a few minutes you get used to it. Certainly a lot better than running down to Primark for a job lot of animal onesies, which is what I would have done – and this is why my career as a theatrical producer never took off.

The performances were excellent. Rob Kavanagh is especially good as Napoleon, the leader of the pigs who starts to abuse his power – getting gradually more power-mad and terrifying throughout the show.

You only have one night left to see it, as the last day of the show is tomorrow, October 31st. Some tickets might still be available, either you can buy online or pick them up from the box office on Seel Street. As for Tell Tale, I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with next – it might even convince me to leave the house again. 🙂