An imaginative retelling of George Orwell's Animal Farm. Through humour, music and puppetry we convey the plot, characters, themes and other elements of the novel, whilst paying special attention to the allegorical nature and meaning of the text and how it relates to the real world both past and present. The novel is one of the prescribed texts in the Matsec Syllabus for English Literature (Sec Syllabus 2021).
The story in the novel is engaging and descriptive. However, the context of the allegory that it represents is somewhat more abstract and difficult to understand, presenting a challenge to the average Maltese student, unexposed to real life experience of incremental totalitarian autocracy and the nuances of revolutionary socialism as a political ideology.
Shakeshorts presents Animal Farm works on a number of levels: Not only does it recount the plot of the novel, using different learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. It also presents a real-time parallel story that focuses on the ideologies that Orwell was satirising. The interaction between the actors in the production mirrors the animals’ descent into tyranny. In this way, the content of the play (plot, themes, etc) can be absorbed and enjoyed by students with different learning styles who also recognise the parallel story that reinforces/clarifies the political satire in the novel.
By bringing the abstract ideologies of Marxism to life (through the parallel storyline), students are able to recognise how it is applicable to real-life and to their own experiences.
DATES: Available on request
DURATION: 40 minute performance
VENUE: The event can tour schools and can be performed at any hall /school theatre.
AUDIENCE: maximum of 150 / Suggested classes: Years 7 to 11