Animal Farm at the Gymnasium Sonthofen – a Review
On Wednesday 23 November 2022, we (the 10th grade and Q11) were able to watch Animal Farm, after discussing it in our English lessons. The first thought might have been “Oh a film!” but in our case, we did not watch it on screen, but a theatre group visited us to show us the story in real life. The ‘American Drama Group’ brought the play to life and delivered an incredible performance even though their stage setting did not seem like a lot when you first saw them!
The little group started with beds built out of magnetic metal beams that frankly looked a bit bare. The majority of students were also surprised to see only four people come to the stage, given the fact that Animal Farm includes many different animals, so how was there such a little amount of people? The answer is easy: they switch roles! One person plays at least two characters and sometimes changes by putting on a hat for example. Admittedly, it was confusing when they first did it, but we quickly got the hang of it.
With dramatic but fitting music the cast members quickly changed the stage setting, which left a few of us stunned for a second as we were certainly not expecting that to happen especially since it did not look like too much at the beginning but was a whole different scenery in a matter of seconds!
Throughout the play, they used different techniques to make it even more vivid, like music, other sound effects, pillows to portray the hens, and even changing their voice to match the characters.
Seeing the rule changes and how/why they started to change was even more interesting to watch and a very intriguing scene. The cast made even clearer that it was a dictatorship and what methods were used to manipulate the animals. Another thing that was portrayed quite well was the change in “animalism” that happened step-by-step, without the animals realising and that they even forgot what the rebellion was like in the very beginning of it.
Sadly, the performance had to be shortened a bit and we did not get an as detailed narrative as some may have expected but nevertheless, we were very thankful for the wonderful show the ADG Europe did! It helped us understand the intention of G. Orwell quite a bit more.
Overall, it was a delightful experience as well as a nice play which was as entertaining as it was informative!
Alisa Holzer 10a