Presented by Sell a Door Theatre Company
By Nigel Williams, Adapted from the novel by William Golding
Cut and pasted from the Greenwich Theatre website:
A plane has crashed on an uninhabited island. The only survivors are a group of school boys. There are no homes or schools, no adults, no rules and before long the boys’ fragile sense of order begins to collapse... With the discovery of ‘the beast’, their games take on a more sinister significance and this once well-behaved group of children quickly turns into a blood-thirsty, murderous tribe.
William Golding's Lord of the Flies is one of the most disturbing and celebrated novels of modern times. Multi award winning Sell a Door Theatre Company brings the classic tale of morality vs. immorality to the stage, in an unforgettable adaptation by Nigel Williams.
Lord of the Flies will always have a special place in my heart. My English teacher Mike Birks taught it to me and it was the book where he finally broke down my defences and got me to speak up. For years he had been saying that I had the intellect but that was wasted as I was reticent in class. Anyway, with this book I finally exploded all over the classroom, and Mr Birks could not shut me up after this!
At the time, I championed Jack's cause, because he was a leader, he was a winner, and he was strong. However, a very wise person told me last year that life is not about winning, it is about doing the right thing. I now agree with this view. Therefore, my allegiance has now transferred across to Ralph and Piggy. They were making a stand, trying to do what was right, and trying to hold together the vestiges of civilisation. Yes Jack had all the winning cards but he was a savage and he led through brute strength. Doing the right thing and integrity is paramount and so I am now championing Ralph not Jack!
However, in the novel, as in real life, good is very nearly wiped out by evil. Simon and Piggy are killed (murdered would be the more accurate term) on the island, and Ralph himself is being hunted to the death. He is only saved by the timely arrival of the adults (British naval officers). Being on the side of the angels guarantees nothing!
I saw this production today (Friday matinee) and I completely loved it and thought it was just brilliant. I thought it was THE most amazing fringe theatre production I had seen in a long long long time (bar Swivel of course!). All the actors were very young men. They were excellent and they each lived and breathed their characters. Ralph and Jack were bang on the money. Ralph just so was the decent Englishman trying to do the right thing, be scrupulously fair, trying to be sensible and look after everyone. Jack had the right combination of evil, scariness, arrogance, condescension, and priggishness all rolled into one. Piggy was Piggy! Sam and Eric looked nothing like eachother, but I loved the way they interacted with eachother, and talked one after the other, finishing off each other's sentences. That really worked and so it actually did not matter that they did not physically look like each other. Roger was pure evil. There was a brilliant portrayal of Simon; one of the best I have ever seen; the young actor really got Simon's otherworldliness and prophetic character down to a tee. And finally, I have to give a special shout out to Percival who was just simply brilliant at conveying what it would feel like to be a little un on the island, having lost your parents and everything that was familiar to you, and being effectively thrown to the lions. Each of the actors just completely and utterly were the characters depicted in the novel; I love the novel to pieces and so I loved that about this production.
The ebb and flow of the production was spot on. It climaxed in all the right places. And the soundscape was nigh perfect. I also loved the simplicity of the set design; it was simple and yet it conveyed the variety of the island.
All in all, highly highly highly recommended. I have seen many theatre and film versions of this piece, and I love the novel with a passion; this is one of the best adaptations I have been lucky enough to see because the actors were the living and breathing embodiment of the characters in the book.
Unfortunately, it closes on Sunday (4 March), so if you want to see this production you need to get your skates on! They are then continuing their tour.
For more details follow the link:
Full details of where the production is next touring to, and the creative team and the cast are here:
Sell a Door Theatre Company are here:
I would also recommend Greenwich Theatre as a venue. It is the first time I have been there but it is a lovely little theatre, small and intimate, and well connected to public transport links. I will be returning! Gutted to realise I had just missed Kafka's The Trial!
Buy the book here: