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Animal Farm


The animals of Manor Farm drive out the farmer and run the farm themselves. A revolution. And then what? Then freedom. Every animal will be free.

Old Major, the prize boar, calls the animals of Manor Farm together. He has had a strange dream of a better future.

George Orwell’s world-famous fable tells the story of a revolution and its aftermath. Re-imagined by an award-winning creative team, Animal Farm is a dynamic, daring and contemporary take on a timeless story.

Animal Farm is directed by Robert Icke, whose version of 1984 (co-adapted and directed with Duncan Macmillan) was a smash-hit in the West End and on Broadway; features puppetry designed by Toby Olie (whose credits include War Horse) and designed by four-time Olivier award-winner Bunny Christie.

The Children’s Theatre Partnership creates bold and imaginative theatre for young people, engaging new audiences and aiming to inspire a life-long love of theatre.

Contains some strong language unsuitable for small children. Recommended Age 12+.

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Animal Farm ON TOUR

Our review on Animal Farm

Animal Farm - The Lowry, Salford - Friday 25th March 2022 by Julie Wilson

Our Rating

‘Animal Farm’ the classic by George Orwell. Having studied this as part of my GCSE many moons ago I was intrigued on how this would be brought to life on stage as a physical piece of theatre. Director (Robert Icke) certainly did not disappoint combining the harsh realities of communism and several dark moments with some well-timed comic characters. These brought to life by the extremely talented puppetry designer Toby Olié and Bunny Christie’s simplistic dark empty stage set, cleverly depicting the dark message portrayed through the play.


Olié’s puppet cast life sized and unbelievably life like brought this full animal cast to life. The great puppeteering cast brought such intricate movements of the puppets from the feathered chickens, the mannerisms of the cat to the powerful, proud six-foot Boxer.

Several times I almost forgot that these great animals were being manipulated by humans viewing them as live talking animals. The characters Napoleon, Snowball and Squealer were particularly strong not only with their powerful aggressive faces but also as their corrupt leadership leads them back to how it began . This is highlighted by the intense, dark music by Tom Gibbons with the ending line “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others’ which symbolizes the harsh realities of Russia’s dictatorship after the ‘revolution’.


The performance was able to keep the viewers engaged by condensing the 1945 political fable into a 90-minute showing through the use of a digital screen detailing key points as the scenes moved from one to the next. Battle scenes were intense and at times frightening forgetting the puppet nature of the characters on stage. It is clear there is an emotional and depressing feeling associated with images of puppets being killed on stage, leaving the audience ‘gasping’ during the ‘breaking of necks’, ‘tearing of limbs’ and graphic ‘executions’ again demonstrating the excellent skill of puppeteer Toby Olié and stage direction of Robert Icke.


The play certainly brought back my days of study however, its dark nature made it perhaps a good viewing for those older even though it was seen through the eyes of puppets. Nevertheless, a fantastic and well performed piece of physical theatre.

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