Writer/Producer David Elendune certainly achieves his goal of “intelligent entertainment” in this sometimes confusing, often funny, uncomfortably intimate and deeply dark adaptation of Orwell’s 1984.
18.104.22.168. (one. nine. eight. four.) is not for those searching for festive holiday spirit. The stark set offers refuge from all those holiday bulbs, and quite frankly, this time of year needs an edge of doom to go with all that cheer.
Eric Holmgren’s transformation into the broken and jaded Ministry of Truth employee, Winston, is vulnerable, oozing with despair, and tortured — at times literally — as his broken physicality hobbles about the stage. You can’t take your eyes off him — that is until O’brien (actress Christine Karipak) straps him to an electric chair and has her sadomasochistic way with him! The exchange, while sexual, has a maternal quality that makes the torture of another human being just that extra bit more disturbing.
Ariel Slack as Julia is a tender little Judas offering one of the most heart-warming moments in a conversation with Winston about commitment and breach of faith. Martin Nemtin and Randi Edmundson deliver a whirling dervish of verboseness that can be hard to follow while offering big laughs and comic relief.
Leaving the theatre you’ll be questioning the nature of betrayal, the concept of truth and the dizzying ambiguity of time and history . . . that and checking the dark corners of your home for nibbling, scaly-tailed vermin on the loose! M
Giggling Iguana Productions present 22.214.171.124. until Dec. 2 at Intrepid Theatre Club (2-1609 Blanshard at Fisgard) Tickets $20/$16 students and seniors.