Cast | Crew |
Soundtrack | News | Notes
| Program | My Summary | My Review
Production Dedicated to Ed Purcelly
|Old Lady/Dr. Brodsky/Mother||Jane Hardy|
|Old Drunk/Minister of the Interior||Jeff Maschi|
|Mr. Deltoid/Dr. Branom||Shawn Harrison|
|Joe the Lodger/Hammer Man/Policeman #2/warder/Droog #1/photographer||Jason Parsons|
|Professor's Wife/Tease (Ludovico)/Alex's girlfriend||Alexandra Daniels|
|Comedian/Droog #2/Reporter||Jared Freeman|
|Governor Gibson||Ellen Arzt|
Scene Design/Technical Director...Anthony Ross
Lighting Design...Joe di Nardo
Costume Design...Jane Smith, Anu Susi
Asst. Technical Director/Master Electrician...Scott Reagan
Master Carpenter/Stage Manager...Matthew Tietjen
Assistant Stage Manager...Jeana Lettiere
Light Board Operator...Diana Hwaga
Sound Board Operator...Danielle Manente
Assistant Costumes...Kelsey Lohsen
Michael Wemer, Kaitlin O'Leary, Hans Augustave
Emily Barlowski, Ian Caldwell, Emily Chu, Kirill Ivanon, Jillian McLoughlin
Cole Pari, Meagan Atkens
Box Office Manager
Front of House
Josh Bellan, Emily Barlowski, Ian Caldwell
Katherine Meshowski, Brittany Penevolpe, Jocelyn Micale, Marissa Kline, Kylie O'Rourke, Jason Jackson, Kyle Adams, Melody Conklin, Matthew Tietjen, Jeana Lettiere, Diana Hwaga, Danielle Manente, Michael Wemer, Kaitlin O'Leary, Hans Augustave, Emily Barlowski, Ian Caldwell, Emily Chu, Kirill Ivanon, Jillian McLoughlin, Cole Pari, Meagan Atkens, Jeff Cohen, Josh Bellan
There is no classical score here, instead it's modern music from the 1950s through the 1990s featuring folk to electronica.
Ministry - NWO (from Psalm 69 - 1992)
Duran Duran - Wild Boys (from Arena 1984)
Beethoven's 9th Sympony
Mott the Hoople - All the Young Dudes (from All the Young Dudes 1972)
Noël Coward - There are Bad Times Just Around The Corner (1952) (from Twentieth-Century Blues: The Songs of Noel Coward 1998)
Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah (from Various Positions 1984)
Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me with Science (from The Golden Age of Wireless 1982)
Rammstein - Heirate Mich (from Herzeleid 1995)
The Smiths - Sweet and Tender Hooligan (from Louder Than Bombs 1987)
Electronic instrumental piece (when Alex tries to kill himself)
Bob Dylan - The Times They are a-Changin' (from The Times They are a-Changin' 1964)
The Who - Baba O'Riley (from Who's Next 1971)
The Raconteur presents Still Tickin': The Return of Clockwork Orange (2000) BBC documentary film screening 9pm Sat Nov 7. Free Admission
By Gretchen C. Van Benthuysen
Staff Writer | 10/17/09
Just in time for the scary time of year, Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork
Orange,' a story of a 15-year-old boy who leads his gang on nightly escapades of
violence, is being produced at Middlesex County College. "This is a wild
and visually arresting play about adolescence and free will,'' said Alex Dawson,
the director and owner of The Raconteur bookstore, which is co-sponsoring the
production. "Because it's about teenagers, we want teenagers to attend. To
that end, this production, unlike the film, does not contain any graphic
violence or sexuality. Indeed, while still disturbing…and by no means defanged…our
version is perfectly suited to both adults and young adults.'' The cast includes
T.J. McNeill as Alex; Matt Salomon as Georgie/photographer; Mike Wemer as
Dim/photographer; Jason Parsons as Joe the tenant/police #2/warder/droog #1/photographer; Ellen Arzt as the governor; Alexandra Daniels as the professor's
wife/temptress/Alex's girlfriend; Jared Freeman as the comedian/droog #2/reporter; Courtney
Averette the nurse, and Jason Jackson as the DJ.
Like the film, Dawson's production features a soundtrack of Beethoven symphonies but this time using punk, thrash and techno versions played by a goggle-eyed DJ on a scaffolded clock tower 15 feet above the stage. Belching smokestacks, colossal clock cogs and the ribbed wreckage of a crashed zeppelin complete the set. Dawson calls his "Clockwork Orange'' a steam-punk version: "a work set in a world resembling the Victorian past in which modern technological paradigms occurred earlier in history but were accomplished via the science present in that time period. ''He collaborated with Finnish fashion designer Anu Susi to create costumes he calls "industrial elegance'' … tailored suits, swine-snouted gas masks, huge buckled boots and the iconic bowler worn so menacingly by Malcolm McDowell in the movie.
8 PM, Thurs - Sat, Oct 15-17 & 22-24
2 PM, Sun. Oct 25
Student Matinee, 11 AM, Wed Oct 14
Mischief Night Show, 12 Midnight, Sat. Oct 30
The Studio Theatre @ Middlesex County College
2600 Woodbridge Ave., Edison, NJ 08818
Tickets are $10 and can be ordered at www.middlesexcc.edu/theatre or by calling 866-811-4111
More information: 732-906-2612; ClockworkOrangeThePlay.blogspot.com (gone) firstname.lastname@example.org
A Clockwork Orange: The Play
5-8 PM, Mon & Tues, Sept 14&15
Male & Female (18 & Up)
The Studio Theatre @ Middlesex County College
2600 Woodbridge Ave, Edison
Prepared monologue and cold reading of sides
Cow sculpture by Roy Chambers www.artegrity.org
Center Stage - URL is where the DJ is
Cowhead outside at Roy's house
Alex & Droog in gas masks
Alex alone in gas mask
Gas Mask Logo
The set is partially inspired by The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello, a 2005 Academy Award-nominated animated short film. The costumes are partially inspired by the mod fashions of The Who's Quadrophenia.
Woven into the play are threads of WWII gas bomb paranoia. (By September 1939 some 38 million gas masks had been given out. People were fined if they were caught without them.) Alex, Dim, and Georgie have all modified their masks, making them dramatic disguises for a bit of the old twenty-to-one.
Mack the Knife meets Ferris Bueller
A Director's Note
From the outset let me say, in no uncertain terms, we are
not staging the film (of which I am, it should be noted, a fan). When Stanley
Kubrick wrote and directed the cult phenomenon, A Clockwork Orange, he clearly
had his own vision, forcing Burgess's book through the groovy, free-lovin' (and
occasionally incompatible) lens of swinging sixties London. To Burgess's
chagrin, Kubrick also based his screenplay upon the novel's American (not
British) edition, its crucial 21st chapter, in which Alex matures into an
essentially upstanding adult, deleted at the insistence of the stateside
publisher. This final chapter (addressed in the play's final scene) brings to
bear a vital leitmotif that the movie lacks.
During a recent radio interview regarding the production, I stressed that, while certainly disturbing (and in no way declawed) this particular interpretation contains no graphic sex or violence (Burgess's novel is, after all, about adolescence, and, accordingly, I wanted high schools to attend) and, indeed, is almost elegant, in the way that, say, the murderous Three Penny Opera is elegant (my Alex, with his black suit and "flick-type britva" is very much a teenage MacHeath).
In the movie, the droogs wore cricket whites, odious codpieces, and beaky Commedia dell'arte noses, in our version they wear tailored suits, skater pads, and government issued gas masks (threads of WWII gas bomb paranoia, natch). The soundtrack to Kubrick's film was a mix of classical and electronic synth. The music in the play is a cross faded, beat juggled hodgepodge of new wave, folk, punk, techno, pop, and thrash, with Mott the Hoople's youth anthem, "All the Young Dudes", serving as the perfect theme song (Bowie wrote it, not as a hymn to youth or glam, but as a "sequel" to Ziggy Stardust's apocalyptic "Five Years" --the "young dudes" are, in fact, bringing "news" of Armageddon)
"In the age of Columbine, do you really think schools will allow their students to see it?" This from said interviewer, a DJ named Lazlo. Really? Is that what this is? The AGE of Columbine? But these Droogs (read "gang members") have more in common with skateboarders grinding handrails over at the mall. More in common with the rockers and mods of Quadrophenia, the Jets of West Side Story, than the high-schoolers of, say, Gus van Sant's Columbine-esque Elephant. Indeed, if we understand A Clockwork Orange as a satire, a fable, that the violence the droogs commit is really a symbol for smoking, long hair, graffiti, truancy, chickie races, comic books, punk, whatever adolescents from various eras have done that the adult establishment didn't understand and, consequently, sought to control or halt, then we understand that the piece, with all its complex moral questions regarding "Goodness" and Freedom of Will, and its pointed criticism of behavioral psychology and totalitarianism, is really just about one thing: growing up.
Ellen Arzt (Governor) is a retired aerialist from the Big Apple
Jason Jackson (DJ)
Jane Hardy (listed as Jane Smith)
T.J. McNeill bio
Cow sculpture info
Note on Still Tickin
Upcoming production Tartuffe 11/19 - 22
Note: I wouldn't normally need to write up a summary because we all know the story, but in the case it differs drastically from the movie and even the book that it's a whole new version. This way you can read how different it is from both.
It starts in the dark with a warning from the
DJ who is on the opposite side of you 15 feet up about keeping on your gas masks
nearby and practicing putting it on fast, if not you will be fine. If you have a
mobile phone please turn it off now. Please refrain from unwrapping candies,
plastic, paper or foil bags during the course of the show. Should you not follow
these simple instructions you will be fined. A Clockwork Orange runs just under
2 hours, there is one 15 minute intermission. Those sitting in the front row on
the right hand side of the theater should be aware of a stage action that will
affect them, no danger, only disturbance. Enjoy the show. The entire stage is
set up for all the action, there are no set changes, the actors do not use
microphones and the music is louder than the dialog by far.
Ministry - NWO plays as a man bangs away at the front of the stage. On the left side of the stage is the Korova Milk Bar. Alex introduces only George as ugly and Dim as good with the boot. There is no Pete and no one else is there. The bar is decorated by a giant metal cow head and a table with three chairs, nothing else. Throughout the play the setting is a sparse as possible when it comes to the sets and the number of actors. Alex will stop at times to talk directly to us as the role of your humble narrator which works as the narration does in the film. He explains about the milk and how it's loaded up with special to sharpen you up to make you ready to fight.
Then they leave with their masks on, they are the gas masks alluded to by the DJ leading us to believe it is a time of war as they are needed close by in case of emergency. Duran Duran - Wild Boys plays. An old drunk sits at the front of the stage singing, "Have you ever felt your balls, have you ever kissed a cunt?" Alex comes up behind him and takes his mask off to look. Then he goes to hit him and the bum sings some more, "Have you ever seen a pussy, have you ever seen a pussy, of course I have, but it was a pussy cat." Then they all cheer. The bum asks to spare him some weed. Alex has none and hits him, knocking him down. They kick him. He says if you beat him he'll be too drunk to feel it and if you kill him he won't care. The boys beat him and Alex describes it to us. Then the boys suddenly are tired of him being their leader. He says they need a leader. He is Alex the ram and shows his cane like a penis. Alex the bolshy. Then a clock sounds loudly and man and his wife come walking up to where they are. Alex takes his briefcase an open it up. He's working on a book. It's a manuscript called A Clockwork Orange. He starts to read it and crumbles it up as he finishes each page. He reads parts aloud like, "a machine by this I raise my sword pen." This is really excellent. Very first class. Then he stops all upset and asks what that filthy word is. I blush at this. He says there is none. Alex takes the papers and throws them up in the air. The man frantically tries to recover them Alex describes the beating to us how he would cut them up and own on each cheek and Georgie and Dim would have their turns in there dirty sort of way with the woman and he unzips his pants signaling a rape, but it's not shown and there is no 'Singin' in the Rain' routine. They go off stage to Alex hammering out some classical music. Mott the Hoople - All the Young Dudes plays as they return to the Korova. Alex dances wildly and lights up a cancer. He is shagged and fagged and his droogs don't dance. Then Beethoven's Ninth plays an he dances around to it. He explains to us how it makes him feel, golden trombones, crashing through his guts, those string, notice the oboe. Then dim blows a raspberry. This upsets Alex. Alex hits him and says Dim doesn't like that and wouldn't like to be his brother no more and wouldn't want to be.
Then a man comes up clapping behind them. He wears an old style hat and long jacket, grabs Alex and says, "Little Alex, sick this morning so no school, sick tomorrow too, such a shame. Ready for the nights though, yessss?" Alex says Mr. Deltoid what a surprise to see you. Deltoid checks the glass of milk on the table, thinking it's lined with rugs. Alex denies it. Deltoid says you use it to indulge in the crimes of the night don't you - raping and slashing. Then he laughs. Soon you will be mine. Alex then talks to us. He says Deltoid always smells like stale oil like those used for frying over and over. Deltoid says to Alex, next time it will not be the corrective school, it will be the stripy hole and all my prospects for promotion ruined and I will not speak up for you, oh no. I will say that you are villainy incarnate. He screams at him that he will say he is original sin incarnate. Alex falls down and switches chairs. No one's got nothing on me sir, I've been out of the hands of the millicents for a long time. Deltoid takes his hat off, readying to leave. A bit too long by my reckoning. That's why I say to you to keep your handsome young proboscis out of the dirt. Do I make myself clear? He gets really close to his face and holds him tight around the neck so he can barely speak. As clear as an unmuddied lake, he can barely say it, then he let's him go and it comes out loud an clear, "the most azure sky of summer." Dim makes noises while sitting to his face and Deltoid pushes him back, then laughs and leaves. Alex addresses us. Let me explain something to you my brothers it's not good saying a word to them. It's never occurred to them. Energy is something built into a world. The church and the state teach us to destroy. Destruction is our little ode to joy. Dim gets in his face. Alex the not so very large. Yes, Mr. Deltoid sir, no Mr. Deltoid sir. Alex you clowny animal. Dim says you shouldn't have one what you done. I'll carve his glazzies. Alex is ready to fight Dim, but says to use he's become all calm inside and leaves them.
Then the song Noel Coward - There are Bad Times Just Around The Corner plays. On the opposite side of the stage we see an old woman home alone in a rocking chair. They knock on her door and she turns the song off. Alex says his friend has been injured on the street bleeding please, please he's dying, he needs to use the phone. She says he's a slimy bedbug, turns the music off and doesn't believe his story. He climbs in the front window. She's had enough of it, bombs dropping all the time, she won't be bothered by him and will die peacefully. Alex says him an his unemployed droogs just want their share. He notices she has a statue of Beethoven on he radio and he says lovely, lovely all for me. He goes to take it and she fights him. He chokes her and then lets his droogs in. They notice she is dead. They say it's not right what he did before and it's not right now. Alex turns the radio on and the Bosco theme song plays. "I love Bosco" and as the theme ends Dim breaks a bottle over Alex's head. The police sirens can be heard and the droogs take off. A cops says look it's our little Alex all to ourselves. He blames his traitorous droogs. They laugh and beat him. He calls them bratchnies and they say such language and hit him more. Mr. Deltoid suddenly arrives. A cop says Alex must be quite the disappointment. So it's happened. He's left my soft probationary gloves into the callous arms of the law yesssss? This is the end of the line for me yesss? Alex pleads I was led on by the treachery of others. I'm not that bad. Sing the roof off loud and lovely he does. A cop says if he wants to give him a bash in the chops don't mind us, here I'll hold him down and hands Deltoid his baton. He acts like he'll hit him going tick tock, but instead he just spits in Alex's face twice. Alex thanks him it did my heart good. He tells the cops they want a signed confession. All this tolchokcing and the lot, this is a real horrorshow. They say it's a horrorshow all right. They lead him out the back harshly.
Music plays Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah. In prison a priest is waiting to speak while one of the guards next to him yells to random people in the audience and gives out their prison numbers, I'm watching you, shut your holes bleeding hole 7749222 etc.
The priest begins, "What's it going to be then, eh?" Is it going to be in and out until you die. The cop says one more lewd gesture from you 6969 and it's in the hole for you. Priest - in and out of penal institutions, though more in than out than most of. Alex sits on his left side during this speech in his orange suit. Will you sign your birthright away for a saucer of cold porridge. Is it worth it when we have incontrovertible proof that hell exists. Don't leer at me, don't laugh. There mouths burning with rotten excrement, the whole thing in their spinning guts.
The guard leaves. Only Alex and the priest remain. The priest tells him the music you chose as always admirable, tasteful, leads one to the beauty, truth and admiration. The way to heaven and good leave is the book you hold (The Bible). He picks it up. I see you read the old testament more than the new. Surely you must see my son it is in the new that the word of the lord shines brightest Alex mumbles there is too much preachifying. The priest asks what's that? I said I love the preachifying sir, so good. The priest says you've made notes here. What does this say? Page 368 "Yarhoodies, tolchoking one another real horrorshow like and then wipey off the red, red kroovy and getting it on with their handmaidens and then drinky and dribbling the old vino. What is all this blasphemy about? Alex says it was in there when I got it, it's terrible, some sort of gang slang, I wish I understood it. Preist: I'd like to be dresses in a toga in the heighth of Roman fashion wearing boots instead of bare feet. And then the placing of the thorny crown with his bleeding rookers! Corruption! Then Alex stands up and starts to mimic the movements with kicking and smashing. He turns and Alex stops, sitting again.. I must give you another copy, there are plenty of them. Alex says I've tried to be good sir have I most of the years I've been here. Priest: go on as you are little 6655321 and you will probably learn your initiative. Alex stops him from leaving and inquires about the new thing they are talking about that gets you out in no time at all and make sure you never come back.
Where did you hear this, who has been telling you those things?
An old piece of newspaper blows in or two warders talk. What's it called the something technique.
The Ludovico Technique, yes. Of course it's only in experimental stages as the moment. It's very simple, but very drastic.
But it's here isn't it, sir? The new buildings in the south wall. We watched those buildings being put up from the exercise yard.
It's not being used here. The governor herself has grave doubts about it and I must confess I share her doubts. The question is weather a technique can make a man good. Goodness comes from within. Goodness is something chosen. When a man cannot choose he ceases to be a man. He is then interrupted by the Minister of the Interior who has a patch over his eye for some reason and the Governor who are overhead to his left touring the prison and talking about the exact same subject. The priest leaves when he hears the Minister.
Minister, "A choice that is appalling, a pandemic - overcrowding, common criminals are filing the spaces we will soon need for more political offenders, Well Gibson you know the solution?
Governor, "The problem is the people won't justify this prison…"
"...As a trailblazer yes I know. There are certain urgencies, certain political urgencies if we can. I have all the faith in Brodsky. Common criminals such as this unsavory man can best be dealt with on a curative basis. Kill the criminal reflex. I see full implementation in 1 years time. Punishment means nothing, they enjoy their so called punishment.
Alex says he would like to offer himself up in the name of science.
The priest is now in the back behind Alex.
There you are Gibson, young, bold, willing and in all likelihood, very vicious. Brodsky will deal with him. This young hoodlum will be out of all recognition. Prepare the requite documentation, start right away. He leaves.
The Governor stays. "You, young man are to be reformed she tells him. What is your name?"
He sings his prison number 6655321 - ma'am
"Well you are to go to the famous Dr. Brodsky and his believe is in 2 weeks you will be released from state custody as a free man. Do you like that?"
I've been doing my best the 2 years I've been in here and am grateful to all those involved.
Well, don't be. This is no reward indeed. This is far from a reward. She tells the priest he is to be given the Ludovico Technique, orders of the Ministers of the Interior and leaves.
The priest says so you are going to me made into a good boy, never again will you have the desire to create acts of violence or be an offender of the state. I hope you are absolutely clear in your own mind.
It'll be nice to be good sir.
Will it? It might be horrible to be good for one such as yourself. You will be free and not so free. Man who chooses the bad is better in some ways than the man who has the good imposed upon him You are traveling to a region now behind the power of prayer. For animals without choice cannot be saved. It's a terrible thing to consider. Choosing this technique where you have chosen not to be able to choose. You are deprived of the ethical choice to choose good. God help us all.
Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me with Science plays as the lights go out an the cast sets up for the Ludovico technique. Dr. Brodsky checks out things. She only has an assistant Dr. Branom. Alex arrives. Good morning. He asks what was that stuffed you shoved in that needle in me? Vitamins. Something like that. She tells him to sit. Why? You are going to watch films? Like the sinny? Yes. Oh, I love the sinny. They strap him in the chair and she puts something in his eye. He asks what that was? Something to make sure you will always look at the screen. Real horrorshow. She asks what is the slang he speaks.
Dr. Branom explains it is a combination of Russian and English come together to form an international patois. It's called Nadsat, the Russian suffix for teen. The two international political languages of the world reduced to an un political jargon. She begins the films describing what it seen as it is projected behind us (and there really is nothing there). Lights! Start! A typical street scene of our time. Vicious teenage hoodlums beating on an old woman. See the camera splash with blood, bones break. Now the scene changes. The girl on the pavement is only 10, the assailants 4 in number, the rape is brutal, she is indispensable, torn to pieces. Alex yells, No. No!
You are laughing you and your regurgitating. Reaction 8.7, not bad. Let's see how it changes again. Wartime, Japanese, a sharp knife disembowels a prisoner, then his head is cut off, the dead body still runs around. Alex wants to be sick. He heaves. She says remarkable 10.4. Something is going through your veins by Brodsky to cure you of teenage mayhem.
Alex says he sees as clear as day that violence is wrong, very wrong.
She explains we've only just begun and turns the light back on. She describes a Nazi concentration camp and he screams and the soundtrack pumps. It is Rammstein - Heirate Mich. It is also the intermission. The whole time Alex stays onstage getting sick while the audience eats goes to the bathroom, gets drinks and buys souvenirs.
After 15 minutes Brodsky returns and continues describing the scenery. Corpses hanging from the lampposts, torn, eviscerated, dying, this it the modern world dying like a dog. Science can take over mankind.
Alex starts yelling he didn't do anything wrong, it's a sin. He didn't do anything wrong, he only did good, why did you punish him? Who? Beethoven!
Brodsky doesn't understand. Dr. Branom explains that was Beethoven's 5th symphony on the soundtrack.
Brodsky confesses she knows nothing about music, it is convenient for the score, nothing more.
Branom says surely you see. Pavlov's dog salivated when he saw food. Then he salivated when they rang the bell because it as associated with food. He responds in the same way. Not salivating of course, but hearing music will also make him sick.
Quelling the disease is all that matters, I think he's cured.
No, music once was his only escape, his heaven, now it's going to be his hell. I think Brodsky I wish to withdrawal from the experiment, I would be happy to remove my names from the reports. Good day. He leaves.
She says the distasteful violence has been programmed into you. Take him away, he is now a distinguished gentleman and all is ready. Everything goes dark and the music changes to: The Smiths - Sweet and Tender Hooligan.
Now the Minister appears above on the opposite side of the stage. He says take your seats please, no noises, try not to cough. With some price the government presents our end result. I am only here to observe. Let us observe. Now Alex, Dr. Brodsky and a doctor are on stage. Alex is put on his knees.
The Minister continues. Now we send him with confidence out in the world again. As fine as any lad you'd meet on a May morning. What a change from the hoodlum given to the state some two years ago. Unchanged I said, not quite. Prison taught him the false smile, the fawning greased obsequies leer. In those he's long practiced. Now ladies an gentleman actions speak louder than, observe all.
A man comes up behind him dressed like a clown. He has a red nose, a horn and huge shoes. He makes noises with the horn, jumps around, hits him and says he smells. Why brother I have done nothing to you? He beats on Alex. They give Alex a straight razor and he goes between his legs to cut him up, but can't and becomes sick. He offers to do something nice for him like clean his shoes with his tongue. The clown goes to kick him in the ribs, but is sent away.
Brodksy your report. He chooses the good while at the same time being run towards the evil. Any questions?
The priest is up above on the other side. Choice! The boy has no real choice, it was a desperate act of self debasement. Brodsky is only interested in cutting down crime. And reducing the ghastly condition of our prisons.
The priest says if only I could believe that. He is incapable of choice of hate, fear or even human love. The minister is glad, speaking of love, here is an act of chivalry thought dead since the middle ages.
A girl comes out and opens her top and shows it to him. He reaches for her wanting to throw her down and have her right there, but is unable to. She leaves and bows away from us. Everyone leaves.
Alex unzips his prison suit, a free man on the streets in front of his house.
Alex is twisting on the ground when he hears his mom walking with a man. She thinks he's escaped. He says it was in all the papers how he was cured and set free. She never looks at them. She says the man is Joe the Lodger, he rented your room, we didn't expect you to be home for another 8 years. He says to send him away. She says he already paid the rent in advance. Alex throws up in a sewer. Joe says he's been more like a son to her than he's ever been. Alex says I've suffered and you want me to continue to suffer. Joe says it wouldn't be right to leave her alone with you. They leave him. Besides what he has may be catching.
Police sirens go off and two officers approach. It's Georgie and Dim. He asks if they are the new night platties they wear, they are so official. Georgie says it is, they are now police. They want him to fight and knows that he can't. Dim said it was read to him what they did. Alex says oh you still can't read can you Dim? They beat him and leave him alone. Another siren rings. Air raid perhaps? Then we hear a man typing in the room where Alex killed the old woman. Alex wanders to his house. It's Mr. Alexander, now in a wheelchair. He says another victim of the modern age. He has little to offer, he has a mattress he can sleep on. He says he is F. Alexander. Alex says that is his name too. He says he knows him from the paper Brodky's crime cure. A victim of the state and also a weapon. When a man ceases to be able to choose he cannot be a man. He says how his book was torn up by hoodlums and they beat his wife. Then the state banned the book. You poor victim. Alex wonders about his wife. He says she was brutally beaten and savaged, it was too much for her. Another victim. He read about the over conditioning and how the music has affected him as well. Alex talks nadsat about his traitorous droogs. Alexander remembers the language, if he's the same one who hurt his wife he will rip him apart. He says he has his part to play, but first eat and then sleep. Alexander leaves and cranks up the stereo from outside. It is an electronic instrumental piece. Alex flips out, starts to rip off his clothes and then jumps out the window.
Dr. Branom I believer comes out and explains how a public suicide has not helped Brodsky and the government. Alex is wheeled in a bed by a nurse as he sings dirty songs. The doctor shows him pictures to see the first thing in his mind. Here's a picture of a bird's nest. Real horrorshow. What would you like to do to them? He sings about smashing him. The next one is a peacock. The says he would like to take all the feathers and pluck them out except for one and put it in his pockets and walk around with it and people would see him with the feather and talk about it. Then one more card, but people come up from behind and he says not yet. Alex asks what?
It's the minister of the interior and his assistant. A couple reporters come in with cameras and recorders. Alex calls him the minister of the inferior. The woman says not to speak that way. He says we speak as friends. Who are your friends Alex? Everyone is my friend except for my enemies. Who are your enemies? Those who try to hurt me. We are giving you the best treatment. There are those who would like to use you and see you dead and blame it on the government. There is a man with your same name, a writer of propaganda an nonsense who was howling for your blood. He thinks you did the most wrong to someone dear to him. Alex says you mean he was told that. The minister says he had an idea, we confirmed it. Alex says that was very kind of you. When you leave here you'll have no worries, we shall see to everything. Because you are helping us and we always help our friends don't we? Alex gives his thumbs up. Good, good boy. Now a present from the government to you. The nurse come up behind him with a 1930s record player and asks what he wants to hear.
She recites a list of classics - what shall it be Mozart, Wagner, Heiden or Schonberg. He tells them the 9th, the glorious 9th by Beethoven. She plays it and he pictures himself running, slicing the world with his cut throat britva. He gives the thumbs up an peace signs. The doctor says he was cured all right. They wheel him away.
Two droogs enter the Korova in full skeleton suits. Bob Dylan - The Times They are a-Changin' plays. Alex arrives after. He tells them Alex the ram isn't interested in going out tonight. He knows that looks in their eyes, the look of power and wanting it. He tells them to take it, it's theirs. They leave upset throwing furniture. Alex cleans up.
Soon a girl arrives, she is a Alex's date and is sorry she is late. He still talks nadsat and she laughs at how he talks funny. He says how he has grown up. He talks of how teens today are like clockwork toys all full of energy wound up hitting in to a wall again and again.
He gets up and talks to the audience and says that's how it's going to be. Not so young, not anymore. There's the stars, the moon and there's little Alex. Good night, farewell, amen and he grabs his yarbles. He turns and a nurse walks up to him and hands him a baby. He bites his finger and Alex makes fist and says, "He's a little bastard."
The lights go out and The Who - Baba 'Riley plays. He climbs up the DJ scaffolding and the cast starts coming down the middle two at a time, the women first and Alex is last to dance around. Then they all turn and point to the DJ and pose together for the crowd.
The End/85 minutes
The intro from the DJ is like the voice of
god, we can barely even see him. They could've use him to narrate to interesting
affect since he was miced. The entire stage is set up for all the action, there
are no set changes, the actors do not use microphones and the music is louder
than the dialog by far.
The line about the gas masks makes it very different from the start. Has there been a war? Are we in the middle of a war? Bomb shelters, air raids and gas attacks are common? Does this make the gas mask more of a necessity for the droogs then a new fashion statement? More like a British WWII throwback to the fines I think. Then again none of the other characters wear the masks so it would have to be a fashion statement more than a requirement to breathe. I'm glad they had a warning about phones and food which can easily spoil a show, but it wasn't close to 2 hours long. I also thought it was a fun tease about something happening on the right side that will disturb the crowd. I wasn't sure which scene he was referring too, the attack on the old lady or Alex jumping out the window?
The play starts with a bang with one of my favorite bands Ministry who I got to see last year on their farewell tour. The place is small so the music is loud an the actors aren't miced, so sometimes certain actors are harder to hear than others. The droogs outfits are closer to the book for the first time in the three plays I've seen wearing the black. They also wear skate type knee guards and they couldn't help but use the iconic bowler hat from the film. The biggest shock of all was this Alex and my two droogs. There is no Pete in this play. We all goof on the fact that Pete doesn't have anything to do in the movie, but he is important for the 21st chapter which is included in the play, but they did that a different way. In the 21st chapter Pete is older, is with a girl and ready to settle down and she thinks Alex talks funny and can't believe Pete used to talk that way. That's what gets Alex to think about family life. In the play Alex has a blind date who serves the purpose of Pete's girlfriend in the book.
So with no Pete and no other people in the Korova I knew this was going to be a bare bones cut down production. The only set dressing for the Korova was actually a cool, large, metal futuristic cow sculpture that hung over the boys.
Since they couldn't have narration like in the movie they would just have Alex talk to us, which I thought worked out quite well. This also worked out very smart to mask the violence as anytime there was a violent scene they just had Alex describe it to us. Definitely a clever way to bring it own from Rated R to PG Another change was to have the old drunk sing dirty songs, which were pretty funny instead of old songs of the British homeland. Also this bum asks for drugs as a payment instead of money, which makes it very modern. The bum also talks about violence, he has no care about the future and law and order gone away like in the film. He has more or less just given up on life without a political connection to it.
There is no Alex going out pick up music or girls, so there was no big talk behind his back about behind a leader. I thought this scene lacked no punch and came out of nowhere. The droogs suddenly tire of Alex being their leader for no reason. Especially with their quick dose of violence and rape. At least they could've waited for Alex to get mad at them about the music in Korova, here it just doesn't add up. He just says they need a leader and describes himself differently as being the ram and using his cane like a penis. There was no scene of retribution of Alex showing them who is boss which is sorely needed. There is no attack on Billyboy's gang, the stage was probably too small to allow that. No scene of them stealing the car and playing hogs of the road or going to Mr. Alexander's house. Instead they combine the attack at the library which was deleted from the film and make that Mr. Alexander and his wife which is a bit confusing. He reads the manuscript of A Clockwork Orange which matches the book, but not the film. I think those who had seen the film might've been confused by all this quick conglomeration.
In the film we see Alex alone at home enjoying his music, here we don't see that at all. Interesting the only times are at the Korova, the old lady's and the Ludovico center. Also Alex could do something the audience couldn't, he could smoke on stage.
To get Dim to insult Beethoven there was no sophisto from the TV station signing, it was just on the radio. The radio serves as a powerful tool in the play. Here it begins the dissent among droogs. Since we never see Alex's home in this production, Deltoid shows up here. This scene has much more payoff because at first we have no idea who he is, then when we realize it's Deltoid, we're like oh he's busted at his favorite place in front of his friends, which really makes it worse for Alex an there's nothing he can do about it. Deltiod does use his drawn out yesssses straight from the film so we are sure who he is. He's smarter than in the film too as he knows what Alex is up to at the Korova with the milk spiked with drugs. Movie Deltoid really have no clue. He knows he's up to nastiness, but not how it starts. This Deltoid doesn't grab for Alex's yarbles instead he chokes him and has a wicked laugh and a mysterious line, 'soon you will be mine'. Maybe he will get to have his way with him after he's caught or something nasty. He's also specific about that he won't stand up for him in court. It makes it bizarre that Deltoid is even warning him to stay clean in the first place because it's obvious he doesn't like him or care about him as he says he won't stand up for him, help him an then chokes him. He's much crueler that movie Deltoid who seems to care enough to go to his own house and sit an talk to him.
This makes Alex look really weak as a leader as the worst he can do is comment on his smell, like what is done to him later during the Ludovico presentation. All he can say is they are taught to destroy. This leaves it wide open for Dim to bust on him, but Georgie is the smart one, would've been perfect for him to take over, no more picking on Dim, part of the new way, etc.. They only exchange fighting words.
Then we get the oldest song in the show going back to the 50s. It provides foreshadowing for the lady. The whole time the old lady was sitting there as the last scene transpired. She is not a spry cat lady like in the film, she has no witty remarks for him and there is no involved fight with her. Just a quick choke, like Delotoid did to Alex, and she is gone. We do get the excuse me missus story about his friend lying in the road bleeding that she doesn't buy, so he just comes in the front window, but like the old drunk we saw earlier, has no fear of death. When he lets his droogs in the radio provides humor when Alex turns it on and it's the Bosco theme song. This is an old syrup to make chocolate milk, an inside joke about milk. Dim breaks the bottle on Alex and sirens can be heard. She didn't call the police, so there is no way we could see they were tipped off.
The cops know him arriving right away and Deltoid is with them. Maybe he was following Alex? Like the movie he spits on Alex, but here Alex mouths off that it did his heart good.
Next we see Alex is in prison at the side of the chaplain. There is no prison audience so no hymn singing or kissing prisoner. This enables the chief guard to joke with the audience by pointing at certain members to yell at and even calls one 6969 for laughs. The cop is loud when he does his yelling and he wears futuristic military gear with a blast shield, but isn't anywhere near as good as Michael Bates in the film, but he tries.
Alex gets a compliment on the music he chose from the priest, foreshadowing his job in chapter 21. We don't know what the music is though. Like in the book Alex is caught making dirty notes in his Bible when in the movie he just imagines it. We learn he hasn't changed, he's only into the old testament because there is more sex and violence there. He also goes right into asking about the Ludovico Technique. Conveniently the Governor shows up and overhears them. Even more convenient he is picked for the technique since he is the only one there. In this version the governor and Brodsky are both played by women actors, but Branom is a male actor. Alex does have to kiss butt like he did in the film, instead he gets a funnier line, 'I would like to offer myself up in the name of science.' What's missing is the cop telling him to shut his bleeding hole. Alex also gets a big laugh singing his prison number, which was unique to this version.
The whole prisoner transfer scene is skipped with Alex signing out, there is no warden's officer scene, prisoner arriving, emptying his pockets and disrobing, these are funny scenes, but I guess they wanted to avoid the nudity. He is also spared the pain of lidocks - they don't even pretend to use them, he is just given a drop that will somehow make him watch, I don't know how that would ever work and I'd like to hear how it would work, but they didn't even try to come up with and answer, kind of sneaky.
Brodsky is surprised by Alex's use of Nadsat as she's never encountered it and has to look like a bit dumb when Branom explains it two her. It is a fascinating idea that Burgess figured the Russians would win the Cold War somewhere down the line and those in England would be speaking Russian and the youth would rebel by taking this new language and making it their own by mixing it with what they know. So if the Russians have taken over in some way this is their spit in the face by taking a lot of the dirty words and making them their own.
Then the films start, but unlike the movie we can't see because in reality it's just a projector light into the darkness overhead. So it turns out like Alex in the beginning describing the violence. She describes to us the unseen violence taking place leaving it to our imagination. It does sound a lot like the film shown in the movie though with people getting beat up and a girl being raped, though much younger like in the book. Alex doesn't describe much excitement like in the film, he doesn't like the violence right away, especially the rape he fancies. This gives his first measurable reaction an 8.7 which she says is not bad, but we don't know how high the scale goes to judge for ourselves. We know it can be higher because we are told he is laughing as he pukes. It seems to me Burgess got it right because the horror films that pass as entertainment have garnered a new name called 'torture porn' because there are just brutally vicious and not fun and scary like they they were in the 80s. The emphasis is just on the brutality especially in the Saw films that they are able to pump out 1 a year which is mind boggling. This year they are on number 6. The films make big money on opening weekend enough to make a profit right there. The more twisted the violence is, the more popular they are. One of Showtime's most popular shows is about a cop who plays a serial killer on the side to get rid of those that the law can't put away. Soon after Alex's reaction is a 10.4 making us wonder how high the scale goes when it's passed 10. Just like the film he announces he's cured, but the doctor knows better. When she gets to the concentration camp footage we get one of the heaviest German bands on the scene and then it goes to intermission. It's interesting to me that the intermission occurs around 50 minutes in. The film goes 137 minutes with no intermission. I guess it gives them time to make money at the snack bar because there is no change of scenery. Alex is in fact left on stage to keep being sick. He is not taken back to his room to talk about how he feels.
When comes back it's more of the same, the horrible violence she describes as part of the modern world making this sounds like things have gotten far beyond control and that the stuff Alex does is a childish version of it. It makes him sound like a wannabe. When Alex starts screaming about sin, I know why. But the uniformed audience would be like to wonder why. Alex is upset about the use of Beethoven on the score because they don't actually play it in the show. Once again Brodsky shows her ignorance by not even knowing what she is talking about. First she shows ignorance to the pop culture talk of the day, then she doesn't know the most famous classical composer of all time and his most famous piece. Yet somehow she chose it at random? That's hard to believe. Branom has to explain it once again that he is affected by the background score. He takes it one further by saying now Alex will be made sickened by all music which goes farther than the film. He says she has gone too far. He won't be able to listen to music at all, there will be no escape for him. She thinks no matter, it's more important to squash the violent tendency. Branom sees this as such a disaster he wants off the project as well as his name from the research. He sees this going bad fast. Brodsky announces he is cured and the irony is the soundtrack changes to The Smiths - Sweet and Tender Hooligan which has the prophetic lines "and he'll never ever do it again/of course he won't/not until the next time." When he's cured, he'll be back doing it again.
Now comes the demonstration to prove he's cured. In the film the first man is called Lardface, here is called 'comedian', but is literally dressed as a clown with a red nose and horn! Is that a joke? Though he made jokes in the film, the man was vicious, this guy isn't serious. What kind of person is this for Alex to encounter? It throws all realism out the window. Is he going to be attacked by clowns? They should have had a thug like him. Plus to give him a straight razor he could hurt himself with that, not a good idea. He was forced to lick his shoes in the film, here he volunteers, but doesn't have to do it. He got off easy.
The priest rightly so reminds them he had no choice, but they are only interested in cutting own crime not understanding they are now creating robots.
Once again they get past showing any nudity by having the girl face away from us and only opening her top for Alex to see. That's it. No speech from Alex if he did good or anything. It's just over like that, everyone is gone and Alex takes off his prison suit. This is the most poorly executed scene to me. Suddenly he's just free on the street, but where is he? Coincidentally he runs into his mom for this first time in the play, but he never looks at her. Where are they, just walking own the street? It must be because Alex's house is never shown. Alex's father isn't in the play either. Joe the Lodger is with her. Unlike the movie she hasn't followed his progress at all. She does have a good line not used in the book or movie, but written for the plat that they rented his room because he wasn't expected home for another 8 years. Would they have kicked him out in 8 years though? It's like they were cheating on him hoping he wouldn't find out. The rest of the scene plays out like in the film except Alex never goes to attack Joe and isn't given a bundle of his things to take home. One of Alex's best lines of all is how he's suffered and suffered continues to suffer, but the actor really let that one go. He could've really played it up for sympathy. He doesn't even ask what happened to his stuff. They really made a mess of the whole 'homecoming' scene.
The scene where Alex is recognized by the old drunk is thrown out, instead Georgie and Dim just show up as police. Alex stands up to them and they beat him as expected, but there is no trip to the woods where they almost drown him. Plus one of the great lines in the film wasn't used 'A job for two who are now of job age - the police.' Alex wanders over to Mr. Alexander's house next door, neither recognizing the other. There isn't even a good way for Alexander to recognize him as his attacker. In the book the trigger is the word Dim when Alex asks how he knows Dim. Of course in the film it's the brilliant 'Singin' in the Rain' scene, which was not used. Alex starts to realize and asks about his wife and he says she was another victim and then decides he's going to try and kill him either way to discredit the government. This scene doesn't work too well either because Mr. Alexander just leaves and somehow music comes in to affect him. Where is it coming from? Alex isn't locked in room and we saw him just climb in the window before when it was the old lady's house, so it all doesn't play out too smooth. We know it wasn't up high before. There is no bodyguard and no conspirators to come over to find out about the problem with music. Mr. Alexander is just on his own here.
Alex doesn't narrate his suicide or talk to us like he did before. There is no coma, his mother doesn't come to visit him to show how sorry she is. Instead it is left up to a doctor, possibly Branom to explain what happened. Alex singing dirty songs is new for the play and works out well to give us a hint that things have changed. Then he's given the picture test by a doctor who shows him file card with pictures, no fancy slide projector with pictures. Alex singing the answer makes it more funny and is a different way for us to experience the scene. The answer about him walking around with the peacock's feather sticking out of his pants presumably in a rude manner is also different and fun. This is some of T.J.s best acting an he really made it his. The rest of the cards are not shown especially the classic 'just came to read the meter.' Then the minister is there and only two reporters follow him. Why does the minister wear an eye patch anyway? This makes him stand out as politicians with 'deformities' aren't elected. Even bald ones. So he must've been quite powerful or been able to buy his way in.
Alex calls him the Minister of the Inferior like in the book which I always love, I don't know why they kept it out of the film, I always thought Malcolm McDowell could've gone to town with it. There's a very subversive scene with Alex and the Minister. There is not the long scene like in the film where he introduces him and feeds Alex like a bird. Instead the Minister tells about Mr. Alexander howling for his blood. Alex says he was told this, like it wasn't true. The Minister says no we checked it out, it was true and we took care of him for you. It's pretty intense like now that we are friends, we had him killed for you. He was a common enemy and he was dealt with. By not setting him up with a job he is on his own, but he does say we'll see to everything so maybe that will include a job and housing.
They try to trick us and even Alex it seems by coming up with a list of classical composers, but not mentioning Beethoven? They all know that's his favorite, the one that made him flip during the Ludovico. They know he's cured, so it can't be they are afraid of mentioning it. Then it just so happens to be the record ready to play anyway. The needle goes down an that's it. There was no searching for it, no 'oh, don't have that one." What's with the ancient record player anyway? The music has been updated, so why hasn't the sound system been changed some glorious 80s throwback boom box or surround sound with speakers. We get even more proof that Alex is cured because like the book he sees himself slicing up the world. But Alex's big line is taken away and used by the doctor instead - I was cured all right.
Now we go to the 21st chapter infamously not included in the film. As the droogs gets younger the music gets older in the Korova. An old folk number that would not please Alex that his new droogs wouldn't be listening too. They come dressed in head to toe in skeleton suits. This would certainly scare the locals. Alex shows up late and he's not wearing a suit like them. He's not interested in running around shopcrasting and the like. He tells them to go without them. They trash the place before they leave. Surprisingly Alex cleans up. Turns out he has a blind date and he wants everything to look good. It turns Bob Dylan was a warning for us, times they are a changing for our humble narrator. Alex fixes the chairs the other droogs tossed on the way out. The girl is young and pretty and laughs that Alex still speaks Nadsat as it is all ready out of style. He talks of how he has grown up, he's learned that the youth are all wound up full of energy bouncing of the walls with nothing to show for it and he put that into work categorizing music for the government. He quickly jumps up and talks to us instead. He's older now, grown up, we've seen it and then like a dream sequence the nurse hands him a new born baby boy he tries to play with and gets bit. Alex says he's a bastard. The End
This is the third time I've seen the play, each time is very different. The first was Company One in Boston in 2004. This was a much bigger production that was over two hours long and also featured the 21st chapter and music by the Dresden Dolls. They also had the actors played multiple roles and they did a great job. It was a large theater and the house was packed and cost more than double to get in.
The second time I saw it was the Godlight Production in New York in 2005. It too was very sparse with actors playing multiple roles, everything took place on a small space that was surrounded by 3 rows of seats on each side. The scenery was produced by light, shadow and sound and was stunning, almost colorless light a black and white movie. It was violent and was the only one to feature nudity As far as production the Raconteur would be in the middle of those two in size and scope. Compared to the film, this one has distanced itself farthest from the film than the other 2 combined. Both of those tried to match the film for the most part and took it farther by adding the 21st chapter.
The Raconteur version really made it their own. They tried to make it a completely new experience even if you had seen the film and read the book. In that they succeeded. This was a whole new experience and it was bold of them to have a DJ right on set and to throw out the classical score that is ingrained from the film.. While Company One had a score made just for them The Raconteur made their own score from available music from some of the heaviest stuff there is to the lightest there is running the gamut from the 50s to the 90s. They wanted a younger crowd so they got rid of all the sexual scenes which is too bad because it is such a sexual story. I like that someone had the guts to break away from the white suits of the droogs in the in film and try the black as done in the book. I always wanted to see how that looked, but they weren't fully in black, they had white shirts with black ties. But it was strikingly different.
My main complaint would be how short it was and how many things were cut out. I know they can't do everything, but an extra half an hour would still have been under 2 hours and would've let them do many more scenes. If you weren't familiar with the story then you would've had a hard time following it. If you were only familiar with the movie then you would know the gist of it. But bog help you if you went in not having read the book or seen the film.
Sometimes it was hard to hear Alex when he was at the Korova or on the side and the older more experienced characters knew to be louder to be heard throughout, but then the music was super loud. One of my EMTs said the volume of the music gave them a headache. It didn't bother me in that way though.
I enjoyed all the changes of music and characters because it really shook it up a bit. For someone like me who knows the story forewords and backwards I still had fun keeping up because whole chunks were missing an others changed. You couldn't sit there and try to quote the lines going by the film because it was so different.
I always dread someday a bad remake movie as they are remaking most everything these days including Kubrick, including Lolita and The Shining. The latest is a more violent an sexually graphic version of Spartacus coming next year as a TV show. But I could watch the plays all the time, because they are full of ideas to make it work, to make it fit the area they have and they are gone in a few weeks. They are not big budget films that never go away.
It was really a tour de force force the actor who played Alex and he did a good job. All the other actors had to play multiple characters so it's harder to follow them. My favorite is the Minster also played the old drunk, he was my second favorite and really spiced up what we are used to in the film, it was a funny surprise that came out of nowhere. Heck, even many of the behind the scenes people did multiple roles an I think the entire crew is listed on the construction crew.
I had a great time, it was only the second time out of my house on an ambulance trip since I became ill and everyone at the play was incredibly nice and did everything to accommodate me being in a stretcher including giving me a seat in the middle which showed the heart of the action, really the best seat in the house an above everyone. They even opened up the back garage door to let me in since it was pouring rain and I was covered from head to toe in a blanket to stay dry so I couldn't see anything. So it was also an adventure just to pull it off to get me there. After the play the director, T.J. who played Alex and others came up an asked me what I thought and knew of my website and we got to talk about some behind the scenes stuff of what went into it. Thanks to my wife for making it happen, the EMTs for getting us there and the staff for being so accommodating.
Summary © 2009 Alex D. Thrawn for www.MalcolmMcDowell.net