The cast labour splendidly to make the production work, but they are simply too few of them to succeed. Boxer (James Hogg), for instance, morphs from prisoner to Old Major to Boxer to Dog to Sheep and so on, in rapid, confusing succession. None of the characters save Napoleon have much permanence. This puts huge demands on the cast’s physical energy and versatility, and they do rise to the challenge, with Tomos James (Squealer) and Naomi Said (Mollie/ Moses/ Pilkington) particularly impressive and engaging. But their constant, schizophrenic struggle to play multiple roles means that the force of events on the farm are lost. Napoleon’s snarling dogs – ever-present in book – are hardly to be seen, so the farm’s atmosphere of menace emanates solely from Napoleon himself. During the show trials, the main characters must double-up as the victims being executed, so we lose any sense of how these events affect them in real time, and the cast have to scramble to display it afterwards. There are some wonderful moments in this production, like the ‘spontaneous demonstration’, but also some real bum notes, like the moment where Napoleon and Squealer walk upright, which transforms a moment of true horror into silly melodrama. The cast is excellent, but they have been let down by their director.