Already closed | 1h 41m | Midtown W

1984 (Broadway)

From 627 member  reviews
Members say: Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Edgy, Absorbing

About the show

This stage adaptation of George Orwell’s classic novel stars Tony winner Reed Birney, Tony nominee Tom Sturridge, and Olivia Wilde in her Broadway debut. Ages 13 and up only. More…

One of the most widely referenced and best known fiction titles of all time, '1984' was first published in 1949. Set in a dystopian future when critical thought is suppressed under a totalitarian regime, the story centers around everyman Winston Smith (Sturridge) as he begins down a path of personal and political rebellion. Playwrights Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan's adaptation of '1984' arrives in New York with a brand-new cast after four popular U.K. runs. Due to the show's graphic nature, no one under 13 will be admitted. 

1h 41m | Already closed | Hudson Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (627)


Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Edgy, Absorbing
Avg Score

Ambitious, Disappointing, Intense, Assault on ears and eyes, Timely

See it if you're willing to endure a messy misfire. W/its assault on ears/eyes, 1984 repulses ...and fails to truly engage our emotions.

Don't see it if you have issues w/migraines from flashing lights and painfully loud sounds. Script doesn't tell story well. Tom S's accent annoys.

Also I was disappointed in this production of Orwell's brilliant, insightfu... Read more Read less

Confusing, Disappointing, Insipid

See it if It misses the boat of Orwell's book.

Don't see it if If you liked the book, nothing like it. Does not go deep enough, director could have done so much more with this play.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Sensory-overload

See it if you want to see an inventive, grim staging of Orwell's dystopian novel; you want to see the origins of "fake news" & "alternative facts".

Don't see it if you're unprepared for an assault on your senses in a brutal, loud, bloody, in-your-face production, played more for shock value than empathy

Ambitious, Dizzying, Edgy, Indulgent, Thought-provoking

See it if you're curious about a stage adaptation, the current political situation upsets you, you fear the coming of Big Brother,

Don't see it if don't like unexpected use of bizarre loud noises and bright light, bloody depictions of bodily harm, overall sense of unease

Also The entire production seems designed to disturb and upset although one... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Confusing, Upsetting, Compelling, Ambitious

See it if you're interested in spending 101 minutes meditating on the definition/malleability of reality.

Don't see it if you'd be disturbed by some pretty graphic violence, or you're looking for some escapist fluff.

Ambitious, Intense, Great staging, Overrated, Resonant

See it if You done your homework & know what you're going to see. You're OK w/unnerving themes & staging. You're familiar w/the book.

Don't see it if You can't handle stage violence or angst-inducing themes. You want dynamic acting-w/the exception of Reed Birney, the acting's flat.

Also You already know if you want and/or can handle this show(if you don't ... Read more Read less

Disturbing, Tense, Ambitious, Theatrical, Painfully absorbing

See it if you are looking for an intense experience; you can separate yourself from what you see; you like good story/acting especially from Sturridge

Don't see it if you're squeamish/cannot tolerate mental/physical violence. The play is worth seeing, but it is very unnerving and difficult to watch.

Disappointing, Excruciating, Fluffy, Overrated

See it if You must see everything Reed Briney does because he is a great stage actor

Don't see it if you are expecting to be shocked or moved in anyway

Also I gave this a 24 which is not the lowest scored I have given on show s... Read more Read less

Stunning but not to everybody's taste, Intense

See it if you’re open to feeling emotions that aren’t usually elicited in the theater; you know what theatre of cruelty* is

Don't see it if you’re impatient; you see one show a year with your family and don’t want it full of tedium, confusing characterization, dread, & terror

Also Incredibly rewarding if you can ride out the first half. In the second... Read more Read less

Relevant, Riveting, Ambitious, Confusing, Dizzying

See it if A fresh take on a classic. Relevant to our time. Good performances. Riveting,

Don't see it if Disjointed. Hard to follow at times. Hard to watch. The strobes were unnecessary and painful. The torture was very graphic.

Also The torture didn't bother me too much. But then, after 7 years of watc... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Relevant, Resonant, Slow, Disturbing

See it if you want a stark reminder of the consequences of this country passively going along with the government trampling on our Constitution.

Don't see it if you are remotely squeamish.

Absorbing, Profound, Slow, Indulgent, Dizzying

See it if you want an interesting interpretation of this classic. Tom Sturridge is excellent. First half is rather slow but it definitely picks up.

Don't see it if Strobes, violence, torture and blood disturb you.

Graphic, Intense, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Overwhelming

See it if you want something politically relevant that offers a refreshing, edgy take on a classic book.

Don't see it if you're easily frightened by incredibly realistic violence and gore. This is NOT your high school's summer reading assignment's "1984".

Also I was less bothered by the violence and more bothered by how loud it w... Read more Read less

Edgy, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Absorbing, Relevant

See it if You are a fan of the book & are OK a violent distopian view of the world. We spent a lot of time in discussion about how timely & relevant.

Don't see it if You don't like stage violence, torture or a dark fatalistic view of the world. I thought it was worth the time.

Sensational, Ambitious, Edgy, Profound, Thought-provoking

See it if you like political plays, especially one that both sides can claim as their own. It's better if you have already read the book or know it.

Don't see it if Gruesome sensational effects upset you. There is blood and violence aplenty. You disserve yourself if you don't know the book already.

Absorbing, Intense, Dizzying

See it if You liked the book or you're worried about the state of the world.

Don't see it if You don't like loud noises or are looking for something that won't leave you feeling depressed.

Confusing, Disappointing, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if you want to see a stage version of the classic novel and how it is created on stage, especially the torture scenes.

Don't see it if you don't like stage versions of novels that are hard to translate onto stage, are confusing and lose the point of the novel.

Absorbing, Edgy, Great staging, Resonant, Riveting

See it if You like form to complement content. You enjoy brilliant direction and staging.

Don't see it if You dislike “downtown”-style theatre. You have no patience for poor dialect work by the lead.

Intense, Edgy, Relevant, Jarring, Thought-provoking

See it if You can appreciate and be entertained by an intense drama that is uncomfortable and gory at times. This production was very well done.

Don't see it if Can't handle seeing torture depicted on stage or are sensitive to jarring light/sound effects. Avoid if looking for something light.

Also I never read the book, but now having seen this, would like to. The ma... Read more Read less

Slow, Overrated, Intense, Dizzying, Dated

See it if You read the book and loved it.

Don't see it if you want to get a headache from watching theater.

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Great staging

See it if you like "warnings" of distopian futures.

Don't see it if you're squeamish or the subject matter is too close to today.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if Politically relevant. Rational people succumb to believing "alternate facts" and become a society of "pods." Repeated lies becomes truth.

Don't see it if Cannot tolerate simulated torture used as a brainwashing mechanism to gain total control of a society to erase its past. Stays with you.

Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Masterful

See it if You are a fan of the novel. Enjoy anything dystopian. Have even a passing interest in set/lighting/sound design.

Don't see it if You don't want to see intense violence. You are not an Orwell fan. You want something "light"

Also Won the lotto for this one and got front row dead center seats, a firs... Read more Read less

Intense, Scary, Relevant

See it if want to see a very edgy piece that is very relevant to today. This show is extremely powerful and leaves you thinking about it for weeks.

Don't see it if you are bad with blood or anything graphic. This show has many disturbing moments.

Great acting, Masterful, Intense, Brilliant, Relevant

See it if you are familiar with & understand the source material (book, film) because this is a condensation and may be confusing; are not squeamish

Don't see it if you don't know Orwell at all; want an easy, breezy, entertainment at the theater; you are faint-hearted; can't abide graphic torture scenes

Also This play is NOT for everyone. I cannot stress that enough. Children u... Read more Read less

June 22nd, 2017
“You may well find pleasurable pain in the discombobulating stage adaptation…But it will be pain of a different order (possibly involving nausea) from the empathetic kind you experience reading Orwell’s ever-engrossing book…There is an ordering intelligence behind this ostensible muddle...The sho...
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June 22nd, 2017
“Intense in a way I’ve never seen on Broadway: It’s gut-churning…This gripping show rewards watching, though…As technology becomes more pervasive and ideology more rigid, it is hard not to drawing associations between Orwell’s horror story and the way we live now. But be warned: ‘1984’ is spikier...
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June 22nd, 2017
“Though it’s a little off-putting to see perhaps 20 percent of a play mediated on a big TV, it’s a legitimate idea for theater-making, inventively and thoughtfully deployed. What’s weak, astonishingly enough, is the script, at least for the first hour…But then comes the arrest, and the whole thin...
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June 22nd, 2017
“While I can imagine this visceral production being chillingly effective in an intimate venue, I found it distancing and unsatisfying in a Broadway house. It's also a massive, bludgeoning downer. The impressive stagecraft constantly overpowers the human element of the drama — the cast's committed...
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