In collaboration with The Orwell Foundation, UCL’s Festival of Culture and The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Libby Brodie Productions is proud to announce a two day live, immersive, theatrical event in London and Paris.
“The evil of poverty is not so much that it makes a man suffer as that it rots him physically and spiritually.” – George Orwell
George Orwell’s classic book on 1930s poverty in Paris and London is brought to life in an immersive performance that asks searching questions about homelessness today. Orwell wrote Down and Out in Paris and London as a result of his own experiences sleeping rough and working on what would now be called zero-hours contracts in hotel kitchens. The performance also draws on other Orwell work including his diaries, The Spike and A Clergyman’s Daughter.
Readers include writers, activists, politicians, campaigners and young people who have been homeless. In a multi-disciplinary production, modern stories from the streets are experienced alongside the Orwell text. The performances – in London on 6th June as part of UCL’s Festival of Culture, and Paris in late September – are by the same team who produced the acclaimed reading of the whole of 1984 on a single day in 2017. Each performance will be accompanied by discussions and workshops on the contemporary challenges of homelessness and poverty.
Drawing on the iconic works of Orwell and combining these with real-life, modern-day testimonies, Orwell’s Down and Out Live is an immersive production which focuses on the phenomenon of homelessness both in the past and present day. Read live by politicians, artists, celebrities, activists and members of the homeless community and using a combination of music, story-telling, film and performance this live theatrical event, directed by Hannah Price, will run in London for one day only ahead of a performance in Paris.
The events will be accompanied by new poetic responses in English and French and a short film will be produced by the award-winning film-maker Edwin Mingard. For those unable to attend the London venue, both performances will be live streamed and viewing events will be arranged in libraries and community hubs across the UK, with both the London and Paris performances being recorded in full and being made publicly available.