George Orwell is a big hitter in literature so when I heard James Kenworth was coming to Cultural Exchanges to talk about his adaptation of Animal Farm, I knew I had to attend.
Kenworth gave an awe-inspiring on how he turned Animal
Farm into Revolution Farm, a modern-day dramatic adaptation set and staged on Newham Farm in East London - and
how he got permission to do it.
In Kenworth's adaptation the animals wear hoodies and that makes them
seem more dangerous since so many older people feel threatened by hoodie-wearing teens. It makes it seem "badass".
And that word "badass" is the right one since Kenworth changed Orwell's famous line "Four legs good, two legs bad," from Animal
Farm, to "Four legs badass, two legs waste man." And that's just one example of how Revolution Farm uses modern slang. He also changes the names of the characters so that Napoleon, for instance, becomes Daddy Love.
Most of the presentation was about the creation of this adaptation and
how James Kenworth didn't wanted to make it his own, but to make it modern. But to me it seemed, from this brilliant presentation, that by taking Orwell's work and turning it into a contemporary play, he also succeeded in making it very much his own.