Review by: Paul Towers, 09 February 2016
Lord of The Flies by William Golding
Regents Park London Theatre Production
Curve 9 – 13 February 2016
“harrowing tale of human nature.”
Long ago when films were still black and white and I was still in short trousers one of the set books at school was William Golding’s harrowing novel of human nature and what happens when the discipline of normal society is discarded.
Published in 1954 this was Golding’s first novel, written while working as a teacher in Salisbury. Born in Cornwall and serving honourably in the Royal Navy during the war, Golding had returned to teaching and started to write in his spare time. Drawing on his experiences both at sea and in school he was credited with the accurate documenting of the lawlessness of teenage boys left to their own devices. This insight was what led him to imagine an extreme scenario where a bunch of young lads find themselves left to go feral.
This critically acclaimed production of Lord of The Flies thrills and shocks from the moment it starts. The set is magnificent and features the back end of a crashed passenger plane surrounded by spilled luggage in the jungle of a desert island. Slowly the few surviving schoolboys gather together and try and work out what to do. Their first opportunity to be rescued fails when their fire goes out. Gradually the camp splits into two factions; one wants to be sensible, organise themselves and plan a strategy for attracting rescuers; the other feels their blood rise when they go hunting a pig for food and ultimately descend into savagery. This clash leads to two deaths and would have resulted in even more if salvation in the form of the Royal Air Force didn’t step in.
A superb cast of young actors, some dance trained, fill the stage with the required bloodthirsty and animalistic brutality while Luke Ward–Wilkinson as Ralph and Freddie Watkins as Jack lead their respective gangs in their blood soaked descent into near madness. Along the way Golding shows how easily superstition and religious fervour can be imposed on those without a direction, despite their supposed education and intellect.
Lord of the Flies is on at Curve until Saturday 13 February
Full details at http://www.curveonline.co.uk/
First published in Western Gazette