Derby university students stage Orwell’s 1984

For two dates only this month, Derby Theatre’s Artistic Director, Sarah Brigham will co-direct a stage adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984 performed by University of Derby Contemporary Theatre students, on from Friday 24 until Saturday 25 May.

Derby Theatre is a learning theatre and home to the University of Derby’s theatre courses, a unique model that provides excellent opportunities for students to learn, train and perform in a professional working environment.

Since the learning theatre model launched a few years ago, 1984 will be the first production performed by students and directed by Sarah (co-directed with Amanda Wallace, Programme Leader for Contemporary Theatre and Performance, University of Derby).

As part of the 1984 production process, individual students have also taken on the roles of Designer, Costume Designer, Lighting Designer, Audio Visual Designer, Lighting and Sound Designer, Production Manager and Head of Construction, all drawing on their areas of expertise, interests, what they have learnt as part of their studies to date, and with the support and guidance from the professional staff team at the Theatre.

Orwell’s 1984 is set in a time when we have become victims of perpetual war, government surveillance and propaganda. When the Party decide what we should think and how we should act, and individuality is banned, Winston and Julia rebel against the totalitarian state by performing the political act of falling in love. Big Brother is watching.

Can Winston and Julia, faced with the horrors of room 101, fight against the annihilation of their own free will, or will Big Brother prevail?

1984 is a fantastic opportunity to see and celebrate great theatre and work produced by the next generation of performers and theatre makers, in collaboration with the University, Sarah Brigham and the wider staff team. Tickets for 1984 are from £11 (concessions £9). For more information and to book tickets, call the Box Office on 01332 593939 or book online at