Theatre Review: Mrs Orwell

Mrs Orwell, Old Red Lion Theatre ★★★★☆

By Paul Ewing Last edited 15 months ago

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Theatre Review: Mrs Orwell Mrs Orwell, Old Red Lion Theatre 4
Rosie Ede and Cressida Bonas in Mrs Orwell. Photo: Samuel Taylor

The business of marriage is explored in Mrs Orwell, currently playing at the Old Red Lion Theatre.

The play opens at a time shortly after the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four. George Orwell is dying of tuberculosis in hospital. But to keep him alive he proposes to his beautiful friend Sonia Brownell, an assistant magazine editor. She isn't in love with him but realises he's a national treasure. And Lucian Freud, who has also been pursuing her isn't yet, so she agrees.

Cressida Bonas as Mrs Orwell is cool and conflicted as the great beauty and potential saviour. Peter Hamilton Dyer as Orwell captures his obsessions and contradictions as a man desperate to write one more novel. Tony Cox's script brings to life a time and a place with a mix of realism and gossip to entertain throughout.

Mrs Orwell, Old Red Lion Theatre, St John Street,  EC1V 4NJ, £16-18, until 26 August, Tuesdays to Sundays.

Last Updated 07 August 2017