The Old Red Lion Theatre
Reviewed – 8th August 2017
“An interesting piece … well performed by all”
Mrs Orwell (by Tony Cox) explores the private side of one of the most public icons of the 20th century. Room 65, University College Hospital in 1949, George Orwell languishes with a severe case of tuberculosis yet believes he still has much more time to live …
This production was well-directed (Jimmy Walters), and fast paced. I thought it covered a lot of ground, and had well-drawn characters, which were ably acted, although sometimes I felt the scenes finished rather abruptly and the arc of the story was rather disjointed at times.
The physicality of the actor playing George Orwell (Peter Hamilton Dyer) was superb, and he created a strong sense of place and time and intent.
The nurse (Rosie Ede) also had clear intentions, and brought a little humour, which was welcomed. The relationship between a sickly Orwell, and the young junior editor, Sonia Bronwell (Cressida Bonas) appeared a rather practical union, and so there wasn’t much at stake, and dramatically, it felt a bit flat.
However, the dynamism between her and the louche Lucian Freud, played by Edmund Digby-Jones, livened things up temporarily …
It was an interesting piece with a cleverly designed set (Rebecca Brower), and well-performed by all.
Photography by Samuel Taylor
is at The Old Red Lion Theatre until 26th August