There’s a new version of George Orwell’s Animal Farm available for young casts which its creators hope will make the tale accessible to both actors and audiences. Blue Apple Theatre premiered this adaptation in the summer of 2023 and would love others to see if it fits their needs.
This interpretation of the well-known story features not only Orwell himself as a character, but also his little-known wife, Eileen Blair. Though she’s been written out of literary history, Eileen was instrumental in helping her husband write this most engaging of political allegories. After more than 60 years this ‘invisible woman’ is back in the centre of the action.
All the classic characters and elements are in this piece – the devious Napoleon, the noble Boxer – ‘four legs good’ and ‘all animals are equal’… with a range of parts to serve the budding professional actor and the nervous newbie alike.
Blue Apple is also unafraid to take a few liberties where necessary – the famously downbeat ending has been given a makeover along with a discussion about who actually ‘owns’ a work of art like this. Blue Apple believes that young casts are by nature optimistic about the future and keen to see the world through new eyes. They’ve also thrown in a few jokes to make the show palatable for family audiences, though they will probably offend Orwell-purists.
This piece will accommodate a large cast of around 30, but some roles can be adapted for a smaller cast. It’s available to read, on trust and in good faith, at this link: https://blueappletheatre.com/playscripts
You only need to request performance permission or pay a rights fee if you choose to mount a production. This is a play with lots to reflect upon for young casts as they look at the world around them – it has a great deal to say about the modern world and the power imbalances within it. But Blue Apple hopes it engages as a real, robust piece of theatre instead of an academic exercise.
Photos: original Blue Apple Theatre production, copyright Rob Coates