May 8th, 2023, British playwright James Kenworth visited Mykolas Romeris University (MRU) and presented an open lecture to students about theatre and the adaptation of George Orwell's "Animal Farm" to the contemporary version, "Revolution Farm" where actors are young Brits wearing hoodies and the production takes place on an inner-city farm in East London.
Kenworth, whose lecture was titled, "Public Spaces, Public Words: Pro-Localist Theatre in Newham, East London, with Special Emphasis on Elizabeth Fry: Angel of the Prisons" presented a 70-minute lecture discussing theatre, plays and putting on productions in libraries and open spaces throughout the city in order to make theatre more accessible to city dwellers.
"Animal Farm" is going to be read and "going to go on forever," said the Middlesex University academic, lecturing to students at MRU.
In 2014, he received special permission from the George Orwell Estate to write a contemporary rendition of "Animal Farm," which he called "Revolution Farm."
Discussing why he loves theatre and writing plays, Kenworth said that "at its very best, theatre can give you an experience you will never get anywhere else." However, he added that it is a very "short-lived experience."
He showed pictures from his latest production about prison reformer Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845), a Quaker, titled, "Elizabeth Fry: Angel of the Prisons." It was recently staged in London and performed at Canning Town Library in 2022.
Kenworth captivated his audience with behind the scenes tales of the making of a theatre production and how "the less you do, the more (it is in theatre)."
Aside from being a playwright, Kenworth is a doctor senior Lecturer at Middlesex University specialising in media narrative and storytelling.
During the week, he will be visiting MRU as a guest Lecturer.
(photos courtesy of MRU's Ieva Meironaitė)