Animal Farm


Stage productions

In 2021, during pandemic restrictions, the National Youth Theatre toured a stage version of Animal Farm; this run included outdoor performances on a farm at Soulton Hall.[83]

A solo version, adapted and performed by Guy Masterson, premiered at the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh in January 1995 and has toured worldwide since.[84][85]

A theatrical version, with music by Richard Peaslee and lyrics by Adrian Mitchell, was staged at the National Theatre London on 25 April 1984, directed by Peter Hall. It toured nine cities in 1985.[86]

A new adaptation written and directed by Robert Icke, designed by Bunny Christie with puppetry designed and directed by Toby Olié opened at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in January 2022 before touring the UK.[87]


Animal Farm has been adapted to film twice. Both differ from the novel and have been accused of taking significant liberties, including sanitising some aspects.

  • Animal Farm (1954) is an animated film, in which Napoleon is eventually overthrown in a second revolution. In 1974, E. Howard Hunt revealed that he had been sent by the CIA's Psychological Warfare department to obtain the film rights from Orwell's widow, and the resulting 1954 animation was funded by the agency.[88]
  • Animal Farm (1999) is a live-action TV version that shows Napoleon's regime collapsing in on itself, with the farm having new human owners, reflecting the collapse of Soviet communism.

Andy Serkis is directing an upcoming animated film adaptation.[89]

Radio dramatisations

A BBC radio version, produced by Rayner Heppenstall, was broadcast in January 1947. Orwell listened to the production at his home in Canonbury Square, London, with Hugh Gordon Porteous, amongst others. Orwell later wrote to Heppenstall that Porteous, "who had not read the book, grasped what was happening after a few minutes".[90]

A further radio production, again using Orwell's dramatisation of the book, was broadcast in January 2013 on BBC Radio 4. Tamsin Greig narrated, and the cast included Nicky Henson as Napoleon, Toby Jones as the propagandist Squealer, and Ralph Ineson as Boxer.[91]

Comic strip

Foreign Office copy of the first instalment of Norman Pett's Animal Farm comic strip. This example was commissioned by the Information Research Department, a secret wing of the Foreign Office which dealt with disinformation, pro-colonial, and anti-communist propaganda during the Cold War

In 1950, Norman Pett and his writing partner Don Freeman were secretly hired by the Information Research Department (IRD), a secret wing of the British Foreign Office, to adapt Animal Farm into a comic strip. This comic was not published in the UK but ran in Brazilian and Burmese newspapers.[92]

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