Tab Columnists: What’s in your Room 101?

Our lovely Tab Columnists reveal their deepest fears and phobias.

1984 ADC theatre Cambridge Acting charlie bell columnists elly booth Fear George Orwell Lauren Chaplin Phobia Room 101

Lent Term is in full swing and an ADC production of ‘1984’ is just around the corner. So our lovely Tab Columnists and some of the show’s actors started thinking about what would be in their Room 101 – the torture chamber which presents you with your own worst nightmare, created by George Orwell to complement his nightmarish Big Brother state. Here’s hoping there are no dissertation deadlines in sight.


My Room 101 would just be full of hard-line, bureaucrat activistis. It doesn’t really matter what type, but those kinds of awful people who get utterly obsessed by one thing or another and decide anyone who disagrees with them is Satan, but then also get so obsessed by form-filling that they beat you into submission under a pile of paper. Or my exes. Yeh, maybe my exes. I wouldn’t wish that on President Assad.


My Room 101 would be a burning boat smelling of Stella and blood where all I could see was black and all I could hear were the screams of my loved ones. If I had no way of saving them that for me would be torture.


Nightmarish. That’s the only word to describe it and even that doesn’t do it justice. Not that anything about this is at all just. The descent into aural suffocation begins, volume increasing, incessant. Tell me what you want, ask anything, I’ll do it. Just release me from this horror. But no one answers my cries, and so the Cindies playlist continues, on repeat, for eternity.


My Room 101 would be a small empty room with plain walls. Complete isolation. No sound. No company. Nothing but slowly fading memories. Imagine that. I am feeling a bit sick thinking about it. Nothing but boredom and thoughts about how bored you are and how it will never end. I used to have nightmares about infinity when I was a child. A teacher in school told me that heaven was a place of happiness that would go on for infinity and I got terrified and decided that I needed to go to hell, because something – even happiness – going on forever (NEVER ENDING!) just terrified me and was a bit incomprehensible.

Torturous: Cindies, Admin and Exes (credit: Celia Dyson)

And what about the play’s actors? Their phobias so weird that they just HAVE to be shared.

JACKSON CAINES plays Winston Smith

I’m not a violent man, but I’m known to react aggressively under threat of being tickled. I find it terrifying that humans can be reduced to a state of complete helplessness so easily. So I guess my Room 101 would be occupied by that most sinister and orange of villains – Mr Tickle

NISHA EMICH plays Julia

Considering the dark themes of the play and the terrifying prospects of what Winston faces in Room 101, I feel like I should say something equally deep and gloomy but really the only think that springs to mind is yoghurt. Drowning in a room full of pungent, slimy yoghurt. Eurgh.

1984′ by George Orwell, adapted by Matthew Dunster, ADC, 7.45pm, 4th-8th February, £10/£8