Adapted from George Orwell's classic novel Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, this play is a satire of the Soviet Union and Stalin's communist dictatorship.
The piece is set on fictitious Manor Farm, where the farmer, Mr Jones, stumbles to bed drunk each night - the fruits of his Animals hard labour are squandered and they live in misery.
Old Major, an aged pig, gathers the Animals into the barn and delivers a speech in which he foretells of his death and encourages the Animals to rebel and to overtake man - the cause of their suffering. He teaches them a song "Beasts of England", which becomes a rebel battle anthem.
When Old Major dies, his ideals live on and two pigs, Napoleon and Snowball emerge as leaders, with another pig - Squealer as the party's speaker (he spreads propaganda and reasons with the less intelligent farm animals throughout the piece). The three coin a term "Animalism" and begin preaching its virtues to the rest of the animals - who chase Mr Jones off of the farm and overtake man to become their own leaders. The pigs set out seven Commandments of Animalism (eventually reduced to four legs good, two legs bad).
Although the revolution begins well, Snowball and Napoleon fall out. During a heated debate over the plans to build a windmill, Napoleon calls upon the vicious dogs he has been secretly training to chase Snowball off of the farm.
With Snowball gone the revolution turns increasingly sour, the windmill is destroyed in a storm, for which Napoleon irrationally blames Snowball. Napoleon bans any singing of "Beasts of England". In addition to this he drinks heavily and trades with the towns people whilst the animals in the farm are starving. Boxer, the farm's prime stallion is badly injured protecting the farm, and is eventually sent away to the knackers yard.
Years pass and Animals die off; the pigs begin to walk on two legs. The Seven Commandments become "all animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others." As the other Animals watch the pigs eating with humans they realise that they cannot tell the pigs faces from the human ones.