Friday, May 05, 2017

Live start-to-finish reading of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four






  • The UK’s first ever live start-to-finish reading of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four on Tuesday 6th June 2017, 9am until 10pm at Senate House, London WC1E 7HU.
  • Senate House was the inspiration for Orwell’s ‘Ministry of Truth’.
  • Bringing together a variety of voices, politics and perspectives, the reading highlights Nineteen Eighty-Four’s worldwide and contemporary relevance.
  • Part of the UCL Festival of Culture 2017 a week-long festival, comprising talks, workshops and exhibitions, set to challenge your thinking and offer new ways of understanding our world.
  • Actors, writers, politicians, journalists, academics and members of the public will read the book over the course of a single day, two days before the UK General Election and the 68th anniversary of the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four on 8th June 1949.
  • Readers include Richard Blair (Orwell’s son), Alan Johnson MP, writer Aminatta Forna, journalist Peter Hitchens, Turkish writer Ece Temelkuran, musician Billy Bragg, Baroness Patience Wheatcroft, broadcaster and historian David Olusoga and activist Jack Monroe.
  • Members of the public can apply for a chance to read at
  • Free event, first-come first-served.
  • The full reading will be live-streamed online.
The Orwell Foundation and UCL Festival of Culture are delighted to announce a live, start-to-finish reading of Nineteen Eighty-Four in Senate House, University of London. As Nineteen Eighty-Four has risen to the top of bestseller charts all over the world, almost 70 years after its publication. Now, two days before the UK General Election and for the first time in the UK, members of the public will hear Nineteen Eighty-Four read by a host of actors, writers, journalists, politicians 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, will be free and open to the public. The reading will begin at 9am and end around 10pm.

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 became 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 reading will be directed by Hannah Price and produced by Libby Brodie Productions.

For further information about the event, please see


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