Brave New World
Based on the novel by Aldous Huxley
Adapted and Directed by Michael Hollingsworth
Brave New World premiered May 1981 (alongside VideoCabaret hits Where's Fluffy? and Last Man on Earth) at The Music Hall, as a part of The Toronto Theatre Festival. Brave New World was later presented in repertory with Michael’s adaptation of Orwell’s 1984 in a space called ‘VC’ (at Yonge & Richmond), dedicated to VideoCabaret’s work.
Michael’s adaptation of Brave New World remains true to Huxley's novel from the arrival of John Savage in Bernard Marx's future world to his self-immolation. The presentational style incorporated rock music (performed by The Fabulous Sexophones), live and pre-recorded performances. The cast was made up of three live performers and more than thirty performers on pre-recorded video (much of which was shot in what eventually became the CITY TV building).
Alpha Beta Gamma Delta Epsilon Moron Somatized Test Tube Babies Behaviorally Conditioned encounter a natural-born savage, born of his mother – not hatched in a test-tube. A society addicted to the perfect drug SOMA, endless commercials, interactive video screens, and rock music in every room. A society in which everybody belongs to everybody. Where ending is better than mending. Where violent passions are appeased with violent passion surrogates.
Michael’s adaptation is set in Bernard Marx's apartment - A video home service paradise incorporating two-way television and computerized communications. The walls of Marx's environment are large video screens and the floor is comprised of upward facing video monitors covered by a plexiglass surface. The narrative structure of Brave New World is played out within this electric landscape.