“Orwellian” Review by Rose Desena

This Week in Theater



Developed and Performed by Larry Cedar


Review by Rose Desena


“Orwellian” was premiered at the Los Angeles Fringe Festival this past June. If you are a George Orwell fan, this is for you.


orwellian2-1“Orwellian,” produced by Porters of Hellsgate in conjunction with the Odyssey Theatre was creatively conceived and performed by Larry Cedar. This is a stark journey into the mind of George Orwell and three of his books: his first book “Down and Out in Paris,” “Animal Farm” and “1984.” Reciting poetic monologues, Cedar gracefully moves through all three stories. I don’t want to go into long details about Orwell’s writings, but I will brief you on the monologues Cedar created from George Orwell.


Orwell wrote “Down and Out” after his personal experience in Paris. He used an Italian character because it showed that desperation allows for mistreatment.  They worked 12 to 18 hours a day in bad conditions with little compensation in businesses owned by the bourgeois.


“Animal Farm,” written over a two-year period (1943/44),  was caught in the political entanglements of the day, and Orwell had difficulties finding a publisher, mostly due to fear that the manuscript would hurt relations between the UK and the Soviet Union.  “Animal Farm” depicts a farmer whose animals revolted, and the book is a thinly disguised view of Orwell’s discontent with Stalin and his regime. Orwell addresses the faults of the revolution and attributes it to corruption, greed and ignorance that universally prevents utopian life.


orwellian1-1Cedar also does a stunning job on the story of two lovers, who meet in secret to engage in an affair even though they knew there would be consequences. The book was “1984,” and explores the government’s ability to spy on us and then control us with fear, playing on our emotions so painfully we give up everything, even the one we love.


All three of these pieces are well-researched and presented. Cedar successfully moves between each story with ease, keeping the audience involved. I couldn’t help but think about today’s political issues and how closely related these three bodies of work are to what we are experiencing today. The discontentment with politicians, corporate greed and corruption that seems to be on the rise and last, but not least, unauthorized surveillance of civilians by the very government we elected. This is pretty scary when confronted face to face.


Interesting stuff!


Developed and Preformed by

Larry Cedar

Director: Thomas Bigley

Music/sound Nick Neidorf

Permission granted by the George Orwell estate.


Orwellian runs on Saturday’s and Thursdays @8 pm

and Sunday @7pm, until Dec. 22. 

The show runs in conjunction with”Sherlock Through the Looking- Glass”

which is also a Porters of Hellsgate Production.

Friday’s @8pm and Sunday at 2pm. Call 310 477 2055 Ext 2 for more info.


The Odyssey Theatre

2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Ca 90025




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