Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies
By William Golding, adapted by Nigel Williams. Beenleigh Theatre Group. January 19 - February 3, 2018.

Lord of the Flies is an adaptation of William Golding’s classic novel, transformed into a chilling, beautiful and hugely entertaining play, directed by Bradley Chapman and lead by some of the biggest talent in Brisbane. Although published over 60 years ago, Lord of the Flies is still one of the most widely read and frequently examined works of 20th century literature. In this theatrical performance, the action is transferred from deserted island to deserted theatre as a group of schoolboys find themselves abandoned. With no adults around they start to make their own rules and create their own civilisation, before order breaks down and the story builds to an electrifying climax.

The production shows us the schoolboys' slide into brutality, but doesn't make it feel inexorable. But if the journey is hard to follow, its destination is spectacular.

There are splendid performances from the young cast, with Jayden McGinlay drawing us in as his likable and open Ralph. Levi Rayner’s Piggy is brilliantly updated from the original text and Nic Van Litsenborgh performs Jack as a bottle of pure spiteful malice. Jordan Stott is brooding and even frightening at times as Roger, which makes sense seeing how he’s a near-psychopath.

The best re-imaginings of Lord of the Flies can only work if the boys themselves have a strong sense of community, and it’s clear that these fine actors have developed just that, making their story even more powerful when that community is broken

The viciously potent fighting, choreographed by Justin Palazzo-Orr, and hunting scenes were presented in a gruesome manner; we watched these school boys leave their innocence behind with the rest of their belongings, as the intense bodily action from the young actors showed us their gradual growth from human to animal formation.

Overall, this adaptation of Lord of the Flies was performed outstandingly. It told the tale of civilization vs savagery, in which power becomes corrupt, and provides a significant message of “absolute power corrupts absolutely”. A theatre fanatic or not, this is a must see play with a mesmerising, strong cast of young talented boys.

Mel Bobbermien

Photography: Turn It Up Photography

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