Theater Critique: Animal Farm

The play Animal Farm deals with animals and their revolution to overtake the human mankind. The theme is centered on animalism, the corruption of an organized union of humans versus farm animals, and the concept of higher and lower class. This play involves the history and symbolism of the Russian Revolution. The main idea of this entire writing piece is the dream Old Major has that the animals of Manor Farm will be changed to Animal Farm as they rebellion against the humans in order to live in paradise. To make the dream a success, they must work hard to fix everything up and plan the windmill as support. The relationships between the animals and humans are like the relationships of friends and foes. The way the actors performed the play was in the third person unlike the actual text of the play. However, the play was along the same lines of the text. I will want to say that the actors presented the play in a better understandable way where the reader can see it on stage. At some point of the play, a couple of actors appeared as if they were over acting or not really acting in harmony. I can say that the performance was like a story as the book in the sense of it was not like another play where you will actually relate to the actors and that the viewers were not watching people on stage.

As I saw the actors go across the half emptied stage, the space could have been used more as the set had minimal props. During intermission, the stage was pitch black as the crew made minor adjustments and rather not major ones that could help better impose the action out the book into the stage. The way the actors were talking in third person ruin the way they could have better expressed the characters. It really threw off the relationships of Old Major, Snowball, and Napoleon, and Benjamin with the other animals. The way I saw the play is a support to the novel rather than just a substitute. Going back to the set, it was hardly any props on stage that could really show the audience that the animals were on a farm. The wooden fence and windmill was the only thing that actually caught my attention.

If they had more directive actions to adding more interaction between characters, or actors, and the set, it would have met a better expectation of the audience. Though this may be the director’s decision or choice of a viewer, the actors were not dressed as actual animals. This could have been an interesting factor in the way the actors could have better performed their roles. The costumes looked ordinary except for the farmers and the pigs. The pigs were dresses different than the rest of the animals. The death of the animals was shown in the form of the lights. Since the animals were killed the, red lights shined onto the stage to set the mood of a dramatic scene. Each time the lights changed a different color, it set the mood of what was happening. Another example is when the brown lights were shined onto the stage as the pigs got drunk and was having happy hour.

Most of the sound effects were typical such as a gun shot, or the actors stumping their feet to show that the animals were mad or ready to take charge towards the farmer. The sound effects were included into the play as regular sound effects and typical action scenes. Before the play began and people were coming into the theater, during the play and intermission, and after the play the music of the time period was played. It helped set the mood of what type of play will be performed. The upbeat songs were necessary of being a part of the performance in order to set the mood and get everyone comfortable. I can tell that the tone of the music was ushering in the play as a country theme or significant performance.

Overall, every element mention or not mentioned in this critique helped this play be unique, but stay within the story content. Some changes can be done to this performance to make it better and meet audience expectations.


  • I don't think third person would be suitable for this play either. It's hard to imagine a class system, much less one with animals if the whole thing was done in third person. I might as well read the book again then go to a play like this. Although I didn't read Animal Farm, I know what the concepts behind the story were and it's really hard to put that on stage. Maybe that was the only way the director could have done it. What other good plays should I look out for in the future?

  • Agreed with Cookie...has to be tough to get the point across for such a book and topic. Sound like it was entertaining though. Wonderful critique Kelvin!

  • We don't get to many plays. I bet it has been over 10 years since my last one in fact. My wife and I prefer comedies. But this one sounds interesting.

  • You could experiment with different themes. That's what I've been doing. I like the one I have for now. The one your using is ok. Maybe a little more color would light it up a little. Just an idea.:)

  • I do enjoy this book. In the past, I've seen the animated version and the version where real animals are talking. I'm not sure exactly the name for that type of movie, but it was nice. I read the book and even did a term paper on it, so it is a favorite book.

    Yasir, The Glass Menagerie, is a good play/book by Tennessee Williams. They have the play coming this year at the Playhouse on the Square. The Westside Story is good. That play is going to be at Theatre Memphis this summer. I have been thinking about wanting to go to more theatrical productions this year and the future.

  • I think that you should continue to write critiques. I am in a theatre class and we often look at others' critiques, and it is hard to find one that discusses the technical elements as much as you do. Well Done.