First published in The Times, Monday August 17 2015
David Byrne’s adaptation of George Orwell’s 1933 memoir is still a tale of two cities, though not in the way you might expect. The Paris sections are drawn directly from Orwell’s work, with Richard Delaney, the actor, giving a convincing first-person account of the young Eric Blair’s transition from wannabe poet to politically engaged novelist, after living on the breadline in the French capital for two years. These scenes are nimbly interwoven with extracts from a contemporary account of life on benefits and the minimum wage in London, from the journalist Polly Toynbee (Carole Street).
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