To Orwell Today,

UK's first staging of Orwell's COMING UP FOR AIR is at:

Supper Room, Assembly @ George Street, Edinburgh
Previews Aug 1-2, then Aug 3-25 (no performance on August 11)
11am daily (55 mins)
Tickets: £10.50 - £12.50 (previews £5)
Starring Hal Cruttenden
Adapted for theatre by Dominic Cavendish
Directed by Gene David Kirk

On the eve of its 70th anniversary, George Orwell’s enduring novel, Coming up for Air has been turned into a gripping new monologue that premieres at Assembly in Edinburgh this August.

Starring the acclaimed comedian and actor, Hal Cruttenden, and set on the brink of World War Two, it tells the story of George Bowling, a middle-aged insurance salesman who flees suburbia for the countryside of his childhood. This tubby, outwardly chipper narrator is married with kids, saddled with a mortgage and conforms to a henpecked stereotype. Filled with a sense of dread about the fate awaiting England, in a moment of involuntary reverie about the pre-war days of his youth, Bowling sets in train a plan to salvage a moment of beauty from the wreckage of his hopes.

The novel was written during the winter of 1938, while Orwell stayed in Morocco recuperating in the wake of being wounded in the Spanish Civil War. Published in June 1939, it remains significant as a powerful elegy for a vanishing England and as an invaluable testament to the dark mood of the late thirties.

Several of its passages anticipate his most famous novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four:

'I can hear the air-raid sirens blowing and the loud-speakers bellowing that our glorious troops have taken a hundred thousand prisoners.'

With the world once more overshadowed by conflict and millions of householders once again worrying about their mortgages, this is a timely theatrical distillation of a book that deserves greater prominence as its anniversary approaches.

By arrangement with the Orwell estate, it has been adapted for theatre by Daily Telegraph critic Dominic Cavendish....

-Alison Wright
contact for interview requests, press tickets & other press enquires prior to the festival

Greetings Alison,

Thanks for sending the Press Release announcing the UK premiere of the stage production of Orwell's COMING UP FOR AIR. I checked out the link at the Assembly Festival website.

I saw a one-man stage adaptation of COMING UP FOR AIR here in Canada three years ago, which was excellent and absolutely hilarious. See ORWELL'S CUFA ON STAGE. It was adapted and directed by Leslie Mildiner, starring Bernard Cuffling as George Bowling.

I loved the book COMING UP FOR AIR which I read in the process of reading all of Orwell's books in the order that he wrote them. It was then that I realized that "1984" was in part a compilation of everything he'd written and learned in his lifetime.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~