REVIEW: ‘Animal Farm’ play features solid performances

(Photo by CARLY WANNA, Gazebo Editor)

Review by CARSON GREENE, Gazebo Correspondent

At first glance, George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” may seem like another fairytale of anthropomorphic animals and their antics on a farm without people.

However, upon closer inspection, “Animal Farm” is a dark satire criticizing the communist ideals that were present during World War II.

The play opened Wednesday night at the Henry Harding Tift Fine Arts Auditorium at Stratford. It continues with another performance Thursday night at 7:30. The One Act competition is Saturday at First Presbyterian Day School.

The stage version is filled with tragedy and death, which is a sharp turn away from the lighter tones of Stratford Academy’s One Act plays and musicals in recent years. Both the death and the tragedy are key in portraying a people, or in this case animals, that are slowly oppressed by a communist government.

Orwell, however, does not only show this side of communism but also the ideals of it. He does this through first showing the “Animal Farm” as being a place of total equality with alarmingly quickly evolution into a totalitarian state.

The actors portray this transformation with excellent pacing and skill. The cast also portrayed each character very well and were able to deliver each character’s lesson in the play.

Overall, Stratford Academy’s telling of “Animal Farm” is a success. All of the actors delivered their characters with solid performances. The level of violence the play possessed was a nice twist and worked well in the telling of a story with mature themes.

In the end,  “Animal Farm” is a very enjoyable and interesting One Act play. With notable performances from Asa Marshall and Dylan Quintal, who portrayed Napoleon and Squealer — the leaders of the totalitarian estate.

Ms. Sylvia Haynie, the school’s director of theatre, did an excellent job adapting the stage version.

Carson Greene is a sophomore and an enthusiastic supporter of the arts programs at Stratford.

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