Orwell’s classic 1945 work, a lesson in the corrupting nature of power, is studied by English literature students across the country for its elaborate allegorical references to Stalinist Russia. But in the hands of Sir Elton John and Lee Hall, the award-winning creators of the musical version of Billy Elliot, George Orwell’s dystopian novella is to become an all-singing, all-dancing production for the stage.
In 1954 it was recreated as an animated feature film by Hallas and Batchelor, so the idea isn’t as far-fetched as one might think. On stage, Billy Elliot was a surprise hit considering that it kept its hard edge and harsh critiques of Margaret Thatcher and Michael Heseltine. The Animal Farm project is expected to take two years, but it’s a safe bet that Hall and John will make it a lot tougher than The Lion King.