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A Clockwork Orange: On stage

'A Clockwork Orange' on stage

From its first publication in 1962, Burgess received requests for permission to adapt A Clockwork Orange into a stage play. He explains his situation in the program of a 1990 production at the Barbican: ‘for 28 years, I was receiving requests from amateur pop groups for permission to present their own versions. These were usually so abysmally bad that I was forced eventually to pre-empt other perversions with an authoritative rendering of my own’. Burgess published A Clockwork Orange: A Play with Music in 1986, but was clear to point out that it was ‘not a grand opera. It is a little play which any age group may perform’.

Despite this humble view of his play, Burgess did put extra work into his ‘authoritative rendering’, turning it into a musical production. The songs fit with the raucous tone of the novel, converting the Nadsat into gleeful and celebratory lyrics. (Source: The International Anthony Burgess Foundation) Read more on this website.

1990 RSC Stage Play