Words by Emma Jones

Brisbane's own Shake & Stir is back! This homegrown theatre company is bringing with them their award winning adaptation of George Orwell's famous Animal Farm and it is not one to miss! With their minimal cast and uncanny animal noises, Shake & Stir have really come into their own with this one.

Shake & Stir are a Brisbane-based theatre troupe and company with a mission "to motivate, educate & relate to youth via theatre and an infectious enthusiasm for the live arts". They bring their creative adaptations of Shakespeare plays, as well as their own works to primary and secondary schools across Queensland, in an effort to highlight just how fun theatre (and literature) can be! Their adaptation of Animal Farm is nothing short of that.

For those not familiar with it, Animal Farm is a metaphorical representation of the Russian Revolution, and follows not a civilian uprising but rather an animal rebellion on a farm. It's gripping from the onset of the revolution to its frightening corruption, all in the characters of pigs, horses, sheep, hens, cows and humans. The minimal costumes of the actors was one of the challenges director Michael Futcher speaks of in his Notes in the play's program: "I believe in the power of the actor as a storyteller, and in supplying the audience with just enough to spark its own imaginative leap - without laying it on with a trowel".

Shake & Stir have been touring Animal Farm for five months, and the 16th of May marked their triumphant and hugely successful return to QPAC and to the Brisbane theatre scene. It's no surprise that is has won awards such as Best Independent Play and Best Direction at the 2012 Matilda Awards, as well as The Courier Mail's Best Play of 2011. They are a force to be reckoned with, and I urge you to catch this play before its season officially ends! It runs until 25 May, and is definitely worth the $22 to see it!

Patrick Perkins / 19 / Student

What did you think of the play?

I really liked it first of all, and I thought it was really energetic acting. You could tell the amount of effort that they had put into it - they pulled it off really well.

What was your favourite part of the play?

Probably the more intense moments where the animals started rebelling and taking everything over, and with all the lights and intensity.

Do you think they did it justice by adapting it from the book to the play version?

I haven't read the book before, so being a newcomer to the story it was told really well and I picked up the storyline really easily and enjoyed it.

What was the last arts event you went to?

I saw the Queensland  Ballet perform Swan Lake earlier in the year, and I went to the Psych Night a few weeks ago. Both were really great nights.

What is your favourite venue in Brisbane?

I really like QPAC, and I caught some live jazz at Blackstar Coffee - that was really nice on a Sunday afternoon. The Zoo is great, I've seen good music there too.