Brave New World: Character List
Brave New World: Character List
27 October 2015
Everything you ever wanted to know about the characters you see appearing on stage in Brave New World.
A list of the eleven characters who appear in Brave New World on stage.
John the Savage
youthful optimism: not yet been totally beaten down by life on the reservation. A consummate outsider with a way with language that allows him to hold his own against the formidable rhetorical skill of Mustapha Mond.
She’s tall, healthy, and beautiful: a young, beautiful and sexually liberated Beta. A popular and promiscuous vaccination-worker at the Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. Somewhat quirky - she normally dates only one person at a time - Lenina is basically happy and well-conditioned. She uses soma to suppress unwelcome emotions. Lenina is an object of desire for a number of major and minor characters, including Bernard Marx and John. She defies her culture’s conventions by dating one man exclusively for several months, she is attracted to Bernard—the misfit—and she develops a violent passion for John the Savage. Ultimately, her values are those of a conventional World State citizen: her primary means of relating to other people is through sex, and she is unable to share Bernard’s disaffection or to comprehend John’s alternate system of values.
Alpha. Bernard has a distinctly rumpled look to him, compared to the other Alphas. His face is screwed up with rage. Bernard is not exactly heroic (and he becomes even less so as the novel progresses). He wants things that he can’t have. Before and during his trip to the Reservation, Bernard is lonely, insecure, and isolated. Bernard is a misfit. Unlike his fellow utopians, Bernard is often angry, resentful and jealous. At times, he is also cowardly and hypocritical. His conditioning is clearly incomplete. He doesn't enjoy communal sports, solidarity services, or promiscuous sex. He doesn't even get much joy out of soma.
Regional World Controller for Western Europe. She is a woman in her fifties/sixties but so fit, healthy, and well dressed that she could be any age. She is the most powerful and intelligent proponent of the World State. A paradoxical figure who reads Shakespeare and the Bible and used to be an independent-minded scientist, but who also censors new ideas and controls a totalitarian state. For Mond, humankind’s ultimate goals are stability and happiness, as opposed to emotions, human relations, and individual expression. By combining a firm commitment to the values of the World State with a nuanced understanding of its history and function, Margaret presents a formidable opponent for John, Bernard, and Helmholtz.
The Director: Thomas Galsworthy
The director of the London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre, Thomas is a tall Alpha in his mid-fifties who glows with health. He is a threatening figure, with the power to exile Bernard to Iceland. But he is secretly vulnerable because he fathered a child, which is considered a scandalous and obscene act by the World State. Thomas frowns on Bernard's individualism. His manner is charmless, self-important and didactic
A handsome, well-dressed Alpha male. An Emotional Engineer and Feely Writer. Helmholtz is everything Bernard wishes he could be: strong, intelligent, and attractive. As such a figure of strength, Helmholtz is very comfortable in his caste. Unlike Bernard, he is well liked and respected. Though he and Bernard share a dislike of the World State, Helmholtz condemns it for radically different reasons. Helmholtz can see and feel how the shallow culture in which he lives is stifling him.
The chief engineer is a strapping Alpha male. One of Lenina’s many lovers, he is perfectly conventional and as boorishly obsessed by sex as Lenina is: casually discussing Lenina’s body with his coworkers. His success with Lenina, and his casual attitude about it, infuriates the jealous Bernard. a young, cheerful, conventional Alpha male. Henry is a scientist, a statistician, and assistant to the Director at the Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. He is one of Lenina's ex-lovers
Engineer: a happy, hairy, sex-hormone gum-chewing ex-lover of Lenina: a conventional Alpha male.
Feely director. Entertainment industry celebrity and big-game hunter famous for capturing a gorilla's wedding on film. Bonaparte's violation of the John the Savage's temporary sanctuary leads to an invasion of prying tourists. The intrusive visitors throw peanuts to the Savage "as if to an Ape". The Savage regresses to the posture of an animal "at bay"; takes soma to escape his tormentors; and awakes in the morning, mortified. The Savage chooses to take his own life as the only dignified exit after the shame of what he has done.
Teacher. Friend of Lenina Crowne who warns her that she should have more men in her life because it looks bad to concentrate on one man for too long.
Previously a technician in civilised society before being sent to the reservation. Linda emerges from one of the huts. A woman in her late fifties/early sixties, she was once as gorgeously healthy and fit as Lenina, but has now gone badly to seed. Her hair is wild, her teeth black. Lines mark her face. When she sees Lenina and Bernard her face lights up. Inhabitants of the World State can barely contain their disgust at Linda.
Brave New World premieres at Royal and Derngate, Northampton, where it runs from 4 to 26 September 2015. It then tours to Edinburgh, Blackpool, Nottingham, Cheltenham, Wolverhampton, Darlington and Bradford where it concludes on 5 December.