Animal Farm

  12+
Animal Farm
Is a positive utopia possible at all? What is it that we are to offer to our youth as an alternative, if just any system can degenerate into its own version of totalitarianism? Should we offer them a ready made system or is it better to impart values to them and just keep warning them of the possible mistakes?
George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm, which was successfully published by the author after several failed attempts only in August 1945, has been read for quite a long time as a harsh critique of Stalin’s totalitarianism, although its model actually suits any kind of totalitarianism, and even the plutocracy we are witnessing today. So, the questions at hand are: Is a positive utopia possible at all? What is it that we are to offer to our youth as an alternative, if just any system can degenerate into its own version of totalitarianism? Should we offer them a ready made system or is it better to impart values to them and just keep warning them of the possible mistakes?  And, if they do recognise the present in the past and learn for the future, will we indeed be hitting the paved road to the better future?

»The actual details of the story did not come to me for some time until one day (I was then living in a small village) I saw a little boy, perhaps ten years old, driving a huge cart-horse along a narrow path, whipping it whenever it tried to turn. It struck me that if only such animals became aware of their strength we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat.«

(George Orwell in his Preface to the novel’s Ukrainian publication in 1947)

STARTING POINTS FOR THE DISCUSSION PRECEDING AND FOLLOWING THE PLAY

  • Read the novel Animal Farm before seeing the play.

  • Discuss different totalitarian regimes, social utopias and futuristic societies.

  • In Izbrani eseji (Selected Essays, Mladinska knjiga, 2001, p. 253) by Alenka Puhar read the essay »Orwell's smuggling to Carniola«; the novel has an interesting connection with the Slovenian history, having been presented at the most famous political process in Slovenia in 1947 (the so called Nagode process) as aggravating material against one of the defendants, Franc Snoj.

  • Reflect upon the differences between the novel and the play, and find connections with the current Slovene politics.

  • Pay attention to the visual aspect of the play (think about the materials the puppets are made of, different puppet techniques and their animation, connections between puppets and video …).

  • On website (YouTube) see the first British animated cartoon – Animal Farm, made by John Halas and John Bachelor in 1954.

  • Check the international strip anthology Workburger (Stripburger / Forum Ljubljana, December 2012), and find the depiction of the popular story in the strip, titled Animal Farm #33 by young Slovenian strip and visual artist Kaja Avberšek.

  • Listen how the Animal Farm inspired the album Animals (1977) by the legendary music band Pink Floyd as well as the hit Disturbance At the Heron House by the also famous music band R.E.M.


Premiere: 26.04.2012

Director: Vito Taufer
Author: George Orwell, Andrej Rozman Roza
Set, Puppets and Costumes Design: Barbara Stupica
Music: Mitja Vrhovnik Smrekar
Language Coach: Tatjana Stanič
Performers: Brane Vižintin, Iztok Lužar, Gašper Malnar, Jure Lajovic, Martina Maurič Lazar, Polonca Kores, Nina Skrbinšek, Urška Hlebec, Matevž Müller
Assistant Director: Daniel Day Škufca
Lighting Design: Tomaž Štrucl
Video Animation: Neža Trobec
Puppet Technology: Zoran Srdić, Mitja Ritmanič
Head of Production and Stage Lighting: Alojz Sedovnik
Stage Lighting Technician: Danilo Korelec
Stage Technician: Alojz Milošič
Puppets, Set and Costumes Production: Iztok Bobić, Zoran Srdić, Sandra Birjukov, Marjeta Valjavec, Jernej Remše, Delo osvobaja d.o.o., Gregor Lorenci, Restavratorstvo Mali
All
Shows
26.04.2017 at 18:00
Stage: Grand Stage LGL
Kritike
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