Chancellor’s Hall, Senate House,
University of London
Malet St, London WC1E 7HU

The Orwell Foundation and UCL Festival of Culture are delighted to announce a live, start-to-finish reading ofNineteen Eighty-Four in Senate House, University of London. For the first time in the UK, hear Nineteen Eighty-Four read by a host of actors, writers, journalists and members of the public over the course of a single day in the centre of London. This unique event, part of the UCL Festival of Culture 2017, is free and open to the public.

George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four was written in 1948, just before he died of tuberculosis in University College Hospital.  Senate House – where Orwell’s wife worked during the war – provided inspiration for the Ministry of Truth, which Orwell so chillingly depicted in the novel. Nineteen Eighty-Four has become perhaps the most pervasively influential book of the twentieth century, recently becoming a bestseller again. This unique event offers the opportunity to hear Orwell’s seminal work read aloud in the building which inspired the literary world’s most fearsome (fictional) building.

The Orwell Foundation uses the work of George Orwell to celebrate honest writing and reporting, to uncover hidden lives, to confront uncomfortable truths and, in doing so, to promote Orwell’s values of integrity, decency and fidelity to truth. The Foundation awards the UK’s most prestigious prize for political writing; runs free public events, debates and lectures; has a Youth Prize working to inspire young people all over the country; and runs the Unreported Britain project. In 2016, UCL’s Institute of Advanced Studies became home to the Orwell Foundation, bringing the Orwell Foundation and the Orwell Archive, which was given to UCL on permanent loan by Orwell’s wife, together at UCL. In celebration of this partnership, and of one of the world’s most incisive and relevant writers, UCL Festival of Culture and The Orwell Foundation are delighted to present this unique event.

The event will be directed by Hannah Price and produced by Libby Brodie Productions.


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We are running a public ballot for slots to read! All you need to do is send us a one minute video of yourself reading your favourite part of Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Apply to read


This free event will not be ticketed. You are invited to drop in and stay as long as you like. Audience members will be admitted on a first come, first served basis.


Yes! The event will be live-streamed online through YouTube on the day. We’ll post a link here nearer the time.



Creatives and Crew

Director: Hannah Price

Hannah Price is Co-Artistic Director and Founder of Theatre Uncut, the winner of two Fringe First awards, a Heralds Angel award and the Spirit of the Fringe Award. She was Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar Warehouse and was recently Associate Director to John Malkovich on Good Canary.

Producer: Libby Brodie

Libby Brodie Productions has most recently produced the European premiere of Waiting For Waiting For Godot (St James Theatre), Little Shop of Horrors (UK Tour) and the world premiere of Run The Beast Down(Marlowe Theatre, Finborough Theatre) and currently, The Philanthropist (Trafalgar Studios).

Lighting Designer: Robbie Butler

Robbie has twice been nominated for an off west end award for best lighting design and in 2015 was the winner of the ETC award from the association of lighting designers. More information can be found at www.robbiebutlerdesigns.com

Sound Designer: Philip Matejtschuk

Philip Matejtschuk is a twice-Offie nominated London-based sound designer and composer, whose most recent work includes Brimstone & Treacle (Hope Theatre), Jekyll & Hyde (Pleasance London), Tom Molineaux (Jack Studio Theatre), and Adding Machine (Finborough Theatre). Philip is also Head of Sound at Italia Conti.

Stage Managers: Lara Goncalves, Ruth Parry

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