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'Art imitates life and life imitates art'
By René Hill

Director Matthew McGowan’s love for ‘Animal Farm’ led him to choose the play for the latest Gilbert & Sullivan production.

The play opened last night at City Hall Theatre, and runs until March 26.

George Orwell’s literary magnum opus was reworked for the stage by Sir Peter Hall and with the addition of stirring songs adds to the spellbinding tale.

“I was lucky enough to be involved in a production of the play in 1997 performing the character of Benjamin for Gwent Young Peoples Theatre (GYPT),” Mr McGowan said in a release.

“Being a part of such a successful production of the play encouraged me to pursue acting further and led me to a career in drama that has thankfully grown from my early days in GYPT.

“After performing the show it was always a play that I wanted to reprise and when the opportunity to direct for the second time for the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Bermuda came my way, I recommended strongly that this was the play that they should perform.”

Society of Bermuda president Marjorie Stanton helped him bring the play to life, he added.

“As a theatrical society we have been lucky enough to tap into a wide range of acting ability from across the Island.

“We have veteran performers rubbing shoulders with actors making their debuts on the stage and the skills of the craft are being shared amongst them all.

“With incredible enthusiasm and dedication the cast have rehearsed tirelessly throughout the process and have been able to bring the show to life.”

His thoughts are that the play couldn’t have come at a better time, as “people [around the world are] rising up to overthrow tyrannical or oppressive regimes”.

“It shows us all how art imitates life and life imitates art, and that there are lessons to be learnt by all of us when sitting in a safe and comfortable theatre watching the plight of the ‘animals’ that mirror the dangerous and real lives of people suffering real atrocities all over the world even in the 21st century.”

Curtain time is 8pm. There is also a 4pm matinee on March 26.

Tickets, $35, can be purchased online: www.gands.bm.

You can now assist the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Bermuda by making a donation with our secure credit card payment option.