An exciting new musical comedy, 1984!, takes Orwell’s timeless classic and finds laughter in the darkest places. This all-original Australian work will premiere at New Theatre Newtown in January 2020.

Tap-dancing in torture chambers, rats with razzle-dazzle, Big Brother with even bigger star power: 1984! The Musical! has it all!

In a world where “alternative facts” have normalised Doublethink and our phones collect our data and watch us like Telescreens, Orwell’s dystopia has never felt closer to home. 1984! The Musical! is a fresh take on the story Australia needs right now; a reminder that individual thought must triumph over censorship and populism.

“Comedy has always been a powerful tool for revealing hard political truths,” said writers Diana Reid and Tom Davidson McLeod. “It makes sense. People like to laugh more than they like being lectured at. And Orwell’s 1984 is one of, if not the, most powerful political works of our time. So adapting the text as a comedy felt surprisingly natural.”

Indeed, Orwell, who invented the term “Doublethink”, would understand perhaps better than anyone that all the best comedies are also tragedies. True to the source material, the play follows Winston Smith and his lover Julia as they rebel against the all-powerful Big Brother and his Party. Will they triumph over totalitarianism, or yield to their oppressors? Either way, they’ll sing while trying!

As well as taking a comedic spin on the original, this version reimagines the classic for modern audiences with a majority female cast and ensemble.

The show’s ambitiously eclectic score is the work of Riley McCullagh, whose Assistant Composer credits include The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (STC) and The Dog/The Cat (Belvoir). With a production team and cast jam-packed with rising Australian theatrical talent, including Co-Director Georgia Vella (Bachelor of Music, Australian Institute of Music Theatre), this new musical promises to be soul-crushing and side-splitting in equal measure.

Don’t miss this timely and exciting original Australian work!

World premiere produced in association with New Theatre Newtown.


DATES: 8 – 25 January 2020
PERFORMANCE TIMES: Preview Wed 8 Jan 7:30pm; Tues – Sat 7:30pm; Sun 1:00pm & 7:30pm
VENUE: New Theatre – 542 King Street, Newtown
PRICING: Adult: $30, Concession: $25; Groups (20+): $20, Preview: $15
Tickets: or 02 9519 3403

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