New “1984” picture

In his latest Instagram post, Andrew presented us with a never seen before still from 1984.

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Dentist today 😷 … #1984 #orwell

A post shared by Andrew Gower (@theandrewgower) on

The pictures shows Andrew Gower as Winston Smith and Angus Wright as O’Brien in the play’s rather gruesome and tortureous finale.

Let’s hope Andrew’s dentist’s appointment today isn’t quite as painful and send him some healing vibes on Twitter and Instagram!

 

1984: Final Reviews

The cast in 1984 at the Playhouse Theatre Credit Manuel Harlan 2

  • 16 September 2016: Samantha Laurie for Essential Surrey

This brilliant and stylish adaptation from writer-directors Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan remains faithful to the classic whilst introducing a clever new twist.

[…]

From the minute Winston Smith, played superbly by Andrew Gower, puts forbidden pen to paper, his hellish fate is sealed. Big Brother is on to him. It’s a fast, furious and highly stylized production – flashing lights, live video projections and deafening explosions ratchet up the tension for an audience already on the edge of its seats.

[…]

The small cast double up as modern day academics and puppets of the Party state with gripping performances from the leads (Gower, [Catrin] Stewart and Gerard Gilroy as O’Brien) and moving portrayals of ‘unpersoned’ Syme by Joshua Higgot and Anthony O’Donnell as Parsons.

(Source: Essential Surrey)

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  • 20 September 2016: Lucy Dyer for SW Londoner

Andrew Gower put on an incredible performance as Winston – his frustration and pain felt by the audience.

Gower’s acting in Room 101 had me wincing, and also amazed at his ability to speak as though his teeth had been pulled out.

(Source: SW Londoner)

The cast in 1984 at the Playhouse Theatre Credit Manuel Harlan

  • 29 September 2016: Polis Loizou for Cult Box

[The] marvellous set […] is perfectly utilised in the developing drama, particularly during a jaw-dropping transition in the final third.

This is also when 1984 becomes a thrilling theatrical beast, bringing the nightmare of Orwell’s vision to life. The scene in Room 101 is devastating, and easily the high point of the night’s entertainment.

[…]

The acting is solid throughout, with Andrew Gower (Being Human) as Winston Smith and Hilton McRae as O’Brien bringing fireworks to Room 101, while Doctor Who actress Catrin Stewart impresses as Julia, the woman who prompts Winston to rebel.

A glorious headfuck at times, 1984 is an incredibly strong piece of theatre and well worth checking out […]

(Source: Cult Box)

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  • 4 October 2016: James Butler for Worthing Herald

As Winston, Andrew Gower navigated this minefield of truth and trust with an air of perpetual anxiety that eventually spills over into complete hysteria during the Room 101 scene, the dark heart of the story.

(Source: Worthing Herald)

1984 – Mind The Blog Review

Mind the blog

13422440_371424082981419_8335050245458383208_oThe cast of 1984
Photo credit: Manuel Harlan

Robert Icke & Duncan Macmillan’s hugely successful adaptation of George Orwell’s most famous work, Nineteen Eighty-Four, has returned to London’s West End for another limited season. Running at 101 minutes straight through, it is brimming with tension and a theatrical assault on the senses.

Winston Smith has noticed there’s something not quiet right about the world in which he lives; every day feels the same, but everyone else is either ignorant or ignoring it. In a state controlled by the mysterious & omnipresent Big Brother, it is impossible to live an individual life and think your own thoughts. If you do anything out of the ordinary, or even consider it, you are at risk of being labelled a Thought Criminal and an enemy of the state. And everyone knows where that will lead…

13483380_371424072981420_6454854031599348293_oAndrew Gower in 1984
Photo credit: Manuel Harlan

The…

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Andrew Gower On Playing Winston Smith In 1984

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Here’s another interview with Andrew Gower about playing Winston Smith in 1984 and what tempted him to take on the part. Being Human and Outlander (and their loyal fanbases) get a notable mention, too.

You’ve done some beloved dramas, like Being Human and Outlander. What’s the fan response been like?

Yes, both Being Human and Outlander are known for their loyal fanbases. The beauty of both of those jobs was that the characters were very removed from me. So I’ve been lucky to get off scot-free, without any strange encounters. The wigs, blood and strange onscreen faces/voices – they haven’t found their way into my day-to-day life. Yet.

Read the complete interview here.

1984: More Reviews

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  • 18 July 2016: Alexander Ballinger for Go West London

From the opening scene, it’s clear this is not a page-for-page adaption of George Orwell’s final novel before his death, as our lead man Winston -played flawlessly by Andrew Gower– finds himself somewhere outside of time, and in some kind of book group discussion on the unforgettable work.

This bouncing around in time (or Winston’s mind) runs throughout the play and is a perfect device to draw parallels between the predicted-reality of 1984 and the modern times.

[…]

Overall the cast were well suited to their roles, but there were two performers who controlled the stage and our attention with blistering intensity: Andrew Gower as Winston and Angus Wright as the enigmatic, charismatic O’Brien.

Gower‘s gormless stumbling about the staged juxtaposed with his profound and deeply philosophical monologues perfectly captured the conflicted but clueless hero of the tale.

(Source: Go West London)

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  • 29 July 2016: London Theatre Direct

Being Human favourite Andrew Gower takes on the lead role of Winston with perfection, being suitably nervous and intense where appropriate. His character was only slightly relatable, which was a bold artistic decision I think; he could have just as easily made the character someone all of the audience could feel involved with throughout the show, but it felt as though he was one of us and then torn away from us all under one breath which just added to the intensity of the piece.

(Source: London Theatre Direct)

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  • 31 July 2016: Jack Peat for The London Economic

Andrew Gower, playing Winston Smith, really brings this aspect to life. The scars of oppression are laid barefaced and the mental struggle of dealing with bitter isolation doused with sporadic moments of hope is brilliantly delivered, allowing the audience to experience the nightmarish state and by proxy relate it to society in 2016.

(Source: The London Economic)

 

1984’s Andrew Gower on Coping with Rats, Big Brother & on Getting His Teeth Into Being Human

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Theatre.com talked to Andrew Gower about playing the lead in 1984 and his time as Cutler on Being Human.

You graduated from drama school [the Oxford School of Drama] six years ago but are only now making your West End debut.
Yeah, which is funny because when I left drama school, I always envisaged that my career would be on stage; I never saw it going down the route of TV and film, so for this to be only my third theater job and in something so incredible and illustrious is really amazing.

Read the full interview here.

First Reviews for 1984

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  • 22 June 2016: Christina Caré for London Theatre

Returning to the Playhouse this June, Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan’s adaptation of Orwell’s classic novel 1984 continues to enthral audiences. With a flawless cast and ruthless staging, the play offers 101 minutes of extreme, visceral storytelling.

Andrew Gower excels as Winston, despite hardly speaking for the first several scenes; Angus Wright delivers a chillingly composed O’Brien. The cast are flawless in their enactment of an outstanding script. 1984 succeeds in bringing new life to Orwell’s work; I left the Playhouse thoroughly removed from myself.

(Source: London Theatre)

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  • 28 June 2016: Susan Elkin

Andrew Gower, who plays Winston, has a hint of Michael Sheen about him and gives an outstanding performance. He stumbles about and looks confused and then satisfied as he forms the relationship with Julia (Catrin Stewart – good). In the torture scene – so graphic it makes the blinding in King Lear look like a tea party – bloodied, bowed and terrified Gower is totally, and horrifyingly convincing.

(Source: Susan Elkin)

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  • 4 July 2016: Anne Cox for Stage Review

Andrew Gower’s Smith tries desperately to hold on to his memories but rebellion almost costs him his sanity and his life.

We first meet him trying to make sense of everything. He looks bewildered, uncomprehending, not sure that he is being told the truth. What is the truth? Big Brother’s version of events or reality?

He thinks that he has found allies – first in a woman, Julia (Catrin Stewart), who claims she loves him and is on his side – and then a man, O’Brien, who says that he works for the opposition.

[…]

Gower has an expressive face – in that he looks permanently baffled at what is happening around him – yet he fails to fully capture the anger and frustration that Smith feels. Instead his voice rises at the end of every sentence as though every statement is a question. Perhaps it is. He questions authority and look where it gets him – Room 101.

Look away now if you’re distressed, of a nervous disposition, or unable to face your worst fears. Room 101 contains your worst nightmares and, for Smith, it is his ultimate trial.

(Source: Stage Review)

Outlander: Graham McTavish & Andrew Gower Talk Prestonpans

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Access Hollywood released an interview with Graham McTavish (Dougal McKenzie) and Andrew Gower (Bonnie Prince Charlie) about Outlander episode 2×10 “Prestonpans”.

Graham McTavish was full of praise for his co-star’s acting:

“One of the things that I loved about what Andrew did with the part was how he physically created the Prince,” Graham said, when we asked him about working with the Season 2 “Outlander” actor. […]
“[Andrew] made some really great [acting] choices with that.”
The article also mentions Andrew’s ongoing rehearsals for 1984 in London’s West End.

New cast announced for 1984

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Congratulations, Andrew, for landing such an amazing lead role, and “break a leg” for your West End debut!

Visit the official Playhouse Theatre London website for more information!

An entirely new cast has started rehearsals for Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan’s adaptation of 1984. The cast for the hit West End production of George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece will be: Rosie Ede, Andrew Gower, Joshua Higgott, Richard Katz, Anthony O’Donnell, Daniel Rabin, Catrin Stewart and Angus Wright, alongside Eve Benioff Salama, Cleopatra Dickens, Amber Fernee and India Fowler who will alternate the role of Child.

Also making up the company, as understudies: Ingrid Schiller, Gerard Gilroy and Thom Petty.

Following a sell-out international tour, the critically and publicly acclaimed production of 1984 will return to the Playhouse Theatre in London’s West End this summer. George Orwell’s canonical work, adapted by Olivier Award-winner Robert Icke and Olivier Award-nominee Duncan Macmillan, will preview from 14 June 2016, with the press night on 28 June 2016.

(Source: Your Two Pence)