George Orwell's classic book brought to life on the stage by Phelim Drew
A man drifting through life in 1920s Paris, scraping by in dead-end jobs and generally soaking up the rich underbelly of Parisian life, ﬁnds himself falling helplessly short and discovering a very different view of life, looking up from below. With a keen understanding of social inequality and a wry sense of humour, he vividly recounts his experiences while down and out.
With a keen understanding of social inequality and a wry sense of humour, he vividly recounts his experiences while down and out. Going from a sepia tinted view of poverty in Paris to the more black and white existence in and around London, through characters from a darkly funny Circus to the inhabitants of a Beckettian landscape.
Orwell is determined to make a living as a writer, but all does not go well and the adventures he is forced by his circumstances to recount, are the beginnings of a life in poverty. At times funny and entertaining, from meeting a host of wonderful characters to slaving in Hotel and restaurant kitchens and finally to tramp the streets of London it also peppered with the poignant realities of being “At last, genuinely, down and out”.
Based on the period in his life when George Orwell went “underground” and worked as a dishwasher in various restaurants in Paris and spent time on the road as a tramp in the London environs, culminating 15 years later in the publication of 1984.
Costume Design is by Therese McKeone, Lighting Design by Colm Maher, and Sound design by Philip Stewart
Down and Out in Paris and London premiered in Dublin Fringe 2014 as part of Show in a Bag, an artist development initiative of Dublin Fringe Festival, Fishamble: The New Play Company and Irish Theatre Institute to resource theatre makers and actors. Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell (Copyright 1933), by permission of Bill Hamilton as the literary executor of the Estate of the Late Sonia Brownell Orwell.
Age 16+ (Audience Advisory - some graphic dialogue)
‘Drew dominates the stage’Emer O'Kelly, Sunday Independent
‘Captivating performance’In Dublin