EMAV Review: Majestic Rep's compelling 'Animal Farm' dishes up dystopian dirt ★★★★½

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

★★★★½ - Delicious

Majestic Repertory Theatre's disturbing yet endearing presentation of "Animal Farm" more than lives up to the season's "Revolutionary" theme. Adapted for the stage by Ian Wooldridge, George Orwell's brilliant 1945 novella transcends time and place to mirror troubling societal and political trends that seem doomed by human nature to forever be repeated. This insightful voice from the past--like previous shows this season which also have firm roots in history--has much to say about the present, and is a fitting resolution to a season of bold, thought- provoking pieces.

A satirical allegory about Joseph Stalin and the 1917 Russian Revolution as well as a cautionary tale about the abuse of power, the story revolves around a group of farm animals who rise up and overthrow their drunken human master to create a utopian, classless society based on the Seven Commandments of Animalism. But their idyllic world devolves into autocracy when the smart, power-hungry pigs revise the commandments to form a cult of personality around despotic leader Napoleon, and then morph into the human beings they once despised. Thus to "All animals are equal" is added "but some are more equal than others" to justify their insatiable greed.