1984 | Northern Ballet Leeds

This Place

I’ve heard rumours of this place.

A place where the past is permeated into the floors, the walls, the doors. It has seeped into the very fabrics of the room, flooding it with over whelming nostalgia. A world of smells circulates with no distinction from one another, as they mix into something I just about remember. An alchemy like no other as my brain sparks from each subtle but noticeable scent.

The dark envelops the room, yet streaks of light manage to escape its grasp and highlight a dusty scene. Through squinted eyes, the dark room begins to brighten and my eyes begin to adjust. Adjust to a life I left behind, through force.


A bookshelf leans in the middle of the room like a jenga tower. It is built of books and objects that jut out in odd places, creating a large and jagged structure. I peer my head around the room and decide I can approach the central feature with caution. A patch of light hits something shiny. A square object with an oriental front. The silver in the pattern twinkles as it seeks to grab my attention from the room full of so many wonderful distractions. As I look closer I can see it’s a notebook.

Junk Shop

This junk shop holds so many treasures of a long forgotten past. A past that has been clawed out of the history books just like our language, our choices and our freedom. This bookshelf, of a past I can just about remember, holds strong but seems so fragile as if one missing piece would demolish it forever.

The notebook shines so bright now that I have to shield my eyes. My body throbs with the desire to write my own words and make a mark of the past. I reach for the notebook and another glint from what seems like a screen catches the corner of my eye. Suddenly the bookshelf rumbles with a sound loud enough to shake the room and I know I need to do this and I know I need to cherish it.

NB Adaptation

Northern Ballets adaptation of 1984 is a moving piece, with distinctive choreography that captures the heart of the story incredibly well. A not so hard to imagine world ruled by Big Brother, where the past is erased, choices are forbidden and thoughts are monitored. Please don’t be put off by the political nature of 1984 – you can understand and appreciate the story and this adaptation without an ounce of political knowledge.

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