College To Present Re-Imagined “A Clockwork Orange”

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Clockwork Orange

Mike Wemer (left) of New Brunswick and T.J. McNeill of Metuchen, who are starring in the play “A Clockwork Orange” at Middlesex County College in October.

EDISON—The play “A Clockwork Orange” will be presented at Middlesex County College Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 15-17 and 22-24 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 25 at 2 p.m.; and midnight on Friday, Oct. 30. In addition, there is a student matinee (for those 14 years and up) on Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 11 a.m.

All shows are in the Studio Theatre in the College Center on the Edison campus.

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“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.”

Belching smokestacks, colossal clock cogs, the ribbed wreckage of a crashed zeppelin, all under lit by the blazing Fires of Industry, Dawson’s steam-punk version of Anthony Burgess’s “A Clockwork Orange” features a soundtrack of Beethoven symphonies screened through the fractious filters of punk, thrash, and techno, then scribble scratched by a goggle-eyed DJ sitting atop a scaffolded clock tower that rises 15 feet above the boards.

Using an aesthetic he describes as “Quadrophenia meets Brave New World,” Dawson collaborates with mod Finnish fashion designer Anu Susi, abandoning the sleazy seventies vibe of Kubrick’s film for a sort of industrial elegance: tailored suits, swine snouted gas masks, huge buckled boots and, of course, the iconic bowler.

The term “steampunk” concerns 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. Important authors of the sub-genre include H.G. Wells and Alan Moore.

All tickets are $10 and can be ordered at www.middlesexcc.edu/theatre or by calling 1-866-811-4111

Middlesex County College is at 2600 Woodbridge Avenue, Edison. For more information visit ClockworkOrangeThePlay.blogspot.com, call 1-732-906-2612 or contact raconteurbooks@gmail.com.

Updated Oct. 2, 2009 (added photo and caption)


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