ORWELL is not praised for his hilarious wit, and true to him, light relief was not offered here.

The intimacy of the Georgian acts as a free ticket in the form of audience connectivity for any company on stage.

Northern Broadsides chose to manipulate this golden nugget using a beautifully haunting animation throughout the performance.

The layering and scratching of the animation added a necessary dynamic and lifted this portrayal of a distopian society from the boards to fill the auditorium.

The cast were strong and dominated consistently, with the occasional additions of music a welcome extenuation to their intense verbal exchanges. All performed well and were engaging, a credible ensemble allowing equality and solidarity in the uniquely adapted piece.

Anyone familiar with the novel 1984 will be aware of its less than happy-ever-after conclusion. Here, the projected backdrop coupled with the performance by Nick Haverson as Winston Smith, notably in the scenes of torture, were truly disturbing.

The performance cannot be said to be enjoyable – that was not the intention – so in that sense, it achieved what it set out to do. It was, however, an impressive production, which flowed like a military operation, without a glitch, hard and unsmiling. Mission accomplished, though not something one exactly wants to see a second time. Infrequently does theatre fully achieve horror to this extent, and the animation in the final scenes left a grotesque imprint on the mind; a disturbing story successfully translated into unsettling drama.

Lola McEvoy