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Broadway’s ‘1984,’ with Olivia Wilde, sets audience age restriction

Olivia Wilde and Tom Sturridge in a scene

Olivia Wilde and Tom Sturridge in a scene from "1984" at the Hudson Theatre. Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes

The new Broadway drama “1984,” adapted from George Orwell’s dystopian novel, will carry an age restriction of 13 years or older.

Producers Sonia Friedman and Scott Rudin announced Wednesday night that no theatergoers born after 2004 would be admitted to the play, which opens Thursday at the Hudson Theatre on West 44th Street following previews that began May 18.

The restriction is “due to the intensity of the production, which includes several scenes that are graphic in nature and have disturbed younger patrons,” the producers said.

The limited-run play, scheduled to close Oct. 8, stars 2013 Tony Award-nominee Tom Sturridge (“Orphans”) as protagonist Winston Smith, 2016 Tony-winner Reed Birney (“The Humans”) as Inner Party apparatchik O’Brien, and former “House” and “Vinyl” star Olivia Wilde in her Broadway debut as Julia, Smith’s love interest.

While age restrictions due to content appear to be rare, many Broadway theaters do carry an age limit. The Shubert Organization, for example, notes that, “Children under the age of four years will not be admitted” to any of its 18 Broadway houses or six Off-Broadway stages.

Originally produced at the U.K.’s Nottingham Playhouse in September 2013 by the theater company Headlong, this version of “1984” progressed through a number of theaters before reaching the Almeida in London’s West End the following year. From June to October 2016, it played the West End’s Playhouse Theatre to strong reviews.


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