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With a new series of Big Brother having just started, it seems the powers that be are determined to keep serving up drivel and we are determined to keep on swallowing it.

So there couldn’t be a more perfect time to go and see Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan’s adaptation of George Orwell’s book 1984, which has transferred from the Almeida Theatre.

Published 65 years ago, the novel is set in a time of perpetual war where people are controlled by the Inner Party, watched by Big Brother and not just executed, but deleted from history if they commit ’thought crime’.

This stunning production questions just how close to his dystopian nightmare we have actually come.

It is done through the clever inventing of another future in 2050, when a book club is reading the diary of protagonist Winston Smith and trying to work out whether his horrifying account of mass manipulation and the following fall of the government can be believed or whether the nature of the manipulation has just become more subtle. A question that echoes loudly in today’s world.

Lead actor Sam Crane holds us rapt with his wide but rage-filled eyes, as Winston stumbles through a world where time lines collide and melt into each other with flashes of blinding light.

He is confused, lacking direction until he meets the sultry Julia (Hara Yannas) and they embark on a clandestine affair. Their chemistry is good but not great, although the tinge of awkwardness perhaps reflects the confined nature of their relationship.

But this is not a love story and their brief happiness is ripped away by terrifying masked raiders as Winston is dragged to Room 101 to be ’made sane’ by the eerily calm O’Brien (Tim Dutton).

Winston’s worst nightmares are made reality, with the creative team’s set really coming into it’s own, as his captors attempt to ’set him free’ through submission and the whole production reaches its climax with perfect direction by Daniel Raggett.

You will leave questioning whether two plus two really can ever equal five.

The Playhouse Theatre, Charing Cross, until August 23. Details: playhousetheatrelondon.com