A show currently playing on Broadway is having a strong effect on audience members, with incidents reported in which theater goers have been throwing up, passing out, getting into fights and begging cast members to stop the show.
The show is an adaptation of the George Orwell classic “1984” starring Tom Sturridge and Olivia Wilde. The production “is not holding back on bringing the book’s graphic descriptions of violence and torture to the stage,” The Huffington Post reports. “Squeamish viewers may want to steer clear of the production — or at least bring a barf bag.”
The dystopian book “skyrocketed in sales following President Donald Trump’s inauguration — specifically after Kellyanne Conway coined the phrase ‘alternative facts’ to describe falsehoods,” the story reports, adding: “The most disturbing scene in the production takes place when Winston [Sturridge] is detained by Big Brother for his transgressions against The Party, which allows him to be tortured in Room 101 in an attempt to break his spirit of rebellion.”
“Winston finally crumbles when a cage of rats is strapped onto his head, poised to consume his face,” the story reports. “But even before the rats enter the picture, Winston is brutally beaten inside a sterile white box as piercing strobe lights and the screaming sounds of a jackhammer escalate the intensity. When he is electrocuted, Winston faces the audience and accuses them of being complicit in his suffering.”
In a critique for Vulture, Christopher Bonanos writes: “The torture scenes are visceral, ghastly, and hair-raisingly vivid. Blood is spattered and spit out; at least one beating about the face, occasioned by one awful command, ‘teeth,’ had a large part of the audience flinching.”
The Washington Post reported that during the production’s preview run in London this year, “several audience members fainted and others vomited,” while at one performance the cops had to break up a fight and at others, “audience members yelled at the actors, begging them to stop.”
At least one audience member reportedly fainted on opening night when the show recently opened on Broadway.