Dance take on Orwell classic

Northern Ballet’s first UK tour of 1984 comes to Nottingham’s Theatre Royal from September 29-October 3.
Northern Ballet's 1984Northern Ballet's 1984
Northern Ballet's 1984

No sooner has Nottingham Playhouse’s adaptation of George Orwell’s book finished its run then another interpretation hits the stage in the city.

As one man risks everything to fall in love, join Northern Ballet for the first UK tour of Jonathan Watkins’ 1984.

Recently awarded Best Company at the European Taglioni Ballet Awards, Northern Ballet is bringing this cult classic to life.

Choreographed by Jonathan Watkins, whose recent credits include Kes for Sheffield Crucible Theatre, Northern Ballet’s 1984 is the first full-length ballet adaptation of George Orwell’s renowned novel.

The production had its world première in Leeds in early September 2015, is set to an original score by Tony-nominated composer and arranger Alex Baranowski, who recently worked with Mercury Prize winning band The xx.

In the production, Ministry of Truth worker Winston Smith lives in a world of absolute conformity, his every action scrutinised by Big Brother.

While outwardly conforming to Party doctrine, he is secretly disillusioned, illegally documenting his thoughts in a diary.

When one day he receives a love note from Julia, a colleague he suspected on spying on him for the Thought Police, the pair instead begin an illicit affair leading a dangerous double life putting physical desire above Party discipline.

As their romance develops and they prepare for an act of political rebellion, Winston and Julia discover that Big Brother is always watching and no one can be trusted; least of all themselves.

Jonathan Watkins said: “George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four has been a constant inspiration to me since I first read it at 15.

“It is a powerful and thought-provoking allegory that now, more than ever, has resonance with the times in which we are living.

“I am excited to be working with Northern Ballet and a wonderful creative team to realise this new full-length ballet for the audiences of today and I look forward to exploring through dance, music and film, a new way of seeing this modern classic.”

Tickets for Northern Ballet’s 1984 can be booked online at or by calling the box office on 0115 989 5555.