A Clockwork Orange... When the title is mentioned many of you will summon up visions of Stanley Kubrick's notorious film from the '70's. Even if you haven't seen it (which has only been possible in this country in the last few years) you almost definitely will have heard of it.
A brutal rape scene; images of ultra-violence and lashings of soft porn; plus its withdrawal from release led to this little shocker earning this notoriety and indeed cult status. On viewing the film in 2002, it still has the ability to disturb, but (to use a ubiquitous word) it is a little dated, while Burgess' novel remains as daring, dazzling and visceral as ever. Do not expect a rendition of Kubrick's movie, we are using Burgess' own 1986 stage adaptation which, although flawed, does, as he put it himself, "have auctorial authority." It also retains the final chapter of the novel which Kubrick's film did not. Those of you who are familiar with the film, but not the book, may well be intrigued to see what happens next!
There are many thematic problems with Burgess' tale - aggression being a symptom of adolescence is one of them. But the piece does raise crucial questions about human freedom, which, coupled with a rich vein of dark, dark humour, make what we have discovered to be a truly grotesque cartoon.
Castaway strives to let everyone perform. Therefore there are six Alexes, each having solo and collaborative spots. This does of course lead to contrasting emotional responses. Similarily there are three Brodskys, three Ministers, two Branoms and two chaplains. Don't be confused!