Following a successful run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last year, the New Diorama has announced that it will be presenting the London premiere of Down & Out in Paris and London.
This modern satire is based on George Orwell’s memoir and is the first UK adaptation of his semi-autobiography for 35 years.
In 1927, struggling writer Eric Blair plunged himself into the Parisian underworld, trying to find inspiration for his first book. When he emerged he had written one of history’s starkest accounts of life on the extreme breadline and had created the persona of George Orwell, who was to go on to create some of the most influential political writings of the last century.
Almost a hundred years later, journalist and writer Polly Toynbee followed in Orwell’s footsteps and went undercover living on the minimum wage, claiming job seekers allowance and living in social housing to write her expose of life in low-pay Britain: Hard Work.
The production weaves the two stories together to create a show that shows two people in different eras through life in a world of poverty, zero-hours contracts, labour-exchanges, universal credit and crippling inequality. Through switching between the stories, it is a show that is as powerful as it is witty as it explores the biggest issue surrounding modern society.
It has been adapted, written and directed by David Byrne and received rave reviews for its premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015.
Down & Out in Paris and London is on at the new Diorama Theatre from the 19th April to the 14th May. For more information and to book tickets visit: http://newdiorama.com/whats-on/down-out-in-paris-and-london.