Classic book comes to life on West Coast

SHOW: Renato Musolino stars in 'Animal Farm', which is coming to Ceduna and Streaky Bay next month. Picture: Supplied

SHOW: Renato Musolino stars in 'Animal Farm', which is coming to Ceduna and Streaky Bay next month. Picture: Supplied

Ceduna and Streaky Bay will play host to the George Orwell classic Animal Farm next month.

Outgoing director Geordie Brookman will farewell the State Theatre Company with the play, which stars Renato Musolino.

Mr Musolino, who has also starred in The Gods of Strangers and The Kreutzer Sonata, will take on upwards of 20 characters during the 70-minute play, from the revolutionary pigs to the tyrannical Mr Jones.

“As the historian Timothy Snyder wrote, ‘post truth is pre fascism’ and terrifyingly we find ourselves very much in a post truth world,” Mr Brookman said.

“Orwell was such a precise analyst of the darker trends of human nature that it is no surprise that his work in general and this beautiful parable specifically retain such powerful relevance today.

“When the downtrodden animals of Manor Farm overthrow their master and take over the farm in Orwell’s classic, they think they are beginning a life of freedom, but it is quite the opposite when the cunning pigs Napoleon and Snowball take control [and] from here is born the famous quote: ‘All animals are equal – but some are more equal than others’.”

Animal Farm was first published in 1945 and remains a much-loved literary masterpiece.

Mr Brookman’s adaptation has a modern-day audience in mind.

Inspired by television series Black Mirror and a connection to contemporary narcissism and online information overload, Mr Brookman said the set was contemporary and abstract, and would incorporate laser lighting and raw theatre effects to allow the words and images to drive the experience.

“To be making a piece of intimate, direct storytelling with one of my favourite local actors feels like the perfect way to bring my time with the company to a close.”

Mr Musolino said it was a honour to be working with Mr Brookman in his last State Theatre Company show.

“The challenge of bringing this master work to the stage is one that fills me with great responsibility and excitement...and a tiny bit of terror,” he said.

“But, with Geordie directing, I am in very safe hands.

“I am honoured, and deeply grateful, for the opportunity to work with him so intimately on such an important and personal show.”

The Ceduna and Streaky Bay shows are part of a tour of regional South Australia.

“We’re the State Theatre Company South Australia, not the Adelaide Theatre Company, and so we’re really keen to get to the regions to provide access to our theatre shows,” Mr Brookman said.

The Ceduna Memorial Hall will host a schools-only show at 1pm on Tuesday, March 12, before a performance open to the community at 7pm, with the show moving to the Streaky Bay Institute on Wednesday, March 13 at 7pm.

Adult tickets are $27, while tickets for under 17s and schools are $10, and groups of six or more can buy tickets for $24.

Ceduna tickets can be purchased from TerryWhite Chemmart Ceduna, or from Ceduna Presenters Group members.

Call Bobbie Bennett for more details on 0427 252 752.

Streaky Bay tickets can be purchased from the Visitor Information Centre at 21 Bay Road, Streaky Bay, from Wednesday, February 13.

Tickets can also be purchased online at https://www.countryarts.org.au/events/animal-farm/.