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A Critic Compared 1984 On Broadway To Torture Porn And The Show Has People Puking, Vomiting, And Fighting

Washington Post – A night at the theater generally involves dressing to the nines, perhaps dinner beforehand at a nearby restaurant and finally the play. Fainting, vomiting, screaming and fighting are not typically part of the experience.

Yet that’s exactly what audience members experienced at the new staging of George Orwell’s “1984,” which opened Thursday at Broadway’s Hudson Theatre after previews in London.

While many adaptations of the book downplayed some of its more graphic aspects, in particular its torture scenes, this staging does nothing of the sort.

In the story, Smith is detained by Big Brother and taken to Room 101, where he is heavily tortured until his anti-Big Brother spirit finally breaks.

During the Room 101 scenes in the play, the “main set is destroyed and transforms into a sterile white box, blasted with searing light,” wrote the Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney. His torturers yell out ominous words like “fingertips” or “teeth.” Then strobe lights flash maddeningly while the piercing, punishing sounds of a jackhammer fill the room.

 

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Ahhhh yes, the theater. As a kid you’re dragged there by your parents because they want to get a little culture in your pants shitting self, and as an adult you bring a girl you’re trying to impress. You go to dinner beforehand, maybe get the tuna tartare with a nice glass of pinot noir before heading over to broadway and OH MY GOD

 

“Blood is spattered and spit out; at least one beating about the face,” wrote Vulture’s Christopher Bonanos, who called these scenes, “visceral, ghastly, and hair-raisingly vivid.”

During these scenes in London, several audience members fainted and others vomited. Police were called to break up a fight after one staging. At others, audience members yelled at the actors, begging them to stop.

One audience member reportedly fainted at the Broadway debut Thursday.

 

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Whoopsie daisies! You accidentally took your date to 1984 and now she is vomiting raw tuna and cheap red wine in the aisles. The people in the row behind you are getting in fist fights, and the old lady two rows down is getting CPR. Love the theater.

This NYT critic had an apt comparison for the show:

The New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley wrote that the stage was “lighted to chill” and the production included “nerve-shredding sound effects.”

“Though I usually don’t provide trigger warnings in my reviews, I feel obliged to do so here,” Brantley wrote. “The interrogations that Winston undergoes in the play’s second half are graphic enough to verge on torture porn.”

Torture porn!! What the hell is going on over on Broadway? I thought it was all singing black presidents and mormons and…..

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Give 1984 all the Tonys now.

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