William Golding's haunting drama 'Lord of the Flies' comes to the stage once more with this stunning production all the way from London's Regent Park.
Nigel Williams' excellent stage adaptation of Golding's novel throws its audience right into the heart of the dark and twisted world inhabited by the young protagonists.
When their plane crashes on a deserted island, a group of children are forced to fend for themselves in a lawless environment. What commences is a complex psychological exploration of the depths of human nature that is capable of extreme good and terrifying evil.
Since its publication in 1954, 'Lord of the Flies' has become one of the most famous and disturbing stories about the human condition using the most innocent subjects of all - children.
Before the play even began at Wycombe Swan my breath was taken by the sight of a wrecked plane rotting in the corner of the stage, its contents scattered across the set as a Union Jack flag painted on the wing peers out discreetly from behind the jungle branches. With this image, the impending tragedy of the piece is already set.
The script has been cleverly updated to include references to modern culture that is sure to amuse the teenage spectators. One cast member runs onto the stage during the opening act belting out Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball’. The gang of disillusioned youngsters then all take a group selfie before attempting to post it on Instagram, complaining about the lack of 3G signal. These early humorous moments add to tragedy of the play as all viewers even vaguely familiar with Golding’s novel will know this childhood innocence is soon to be snatched away from them.
The cast excels from start to finish. Anthony Roberts brilliantly embodies all of Piggy's awkward charms whilst Luke Ward-Wilkinson is captivating as the charismatic and good natured Ralph. Connor Brabyn electrifies the stage as the audience witness the bullish Jack sink deeper into malice and insanity. Honestly, I wish I could personally praise the whole cast!
Golding's classic works extraordinarily well as a stage production with the powerful performances, vibrant lighting and striking sound increasing the intensity of the narrative. In the closing sequence, where the boys stand in an orderly line eyes cast down to the floor, the sound of a helicopter grows uncomfortably loud symbolising that their personal war is far from over.