Lord of the Flies ex­plodes on stage

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY -

Wil­liam Gold­ing’s 20th century clas­sic Lord of the Flies ex­plodes onto Cen­trepoint The­atre’s next Open Stage pro­duc­tion, play­ing July 15 to Au­gust 5, led by a dy­namic and fear­less cast of pro­fes­sional young ac­tors and sup­ported by mem­bers of the Manawatu com­mu­nity.

A plane crashes on a de­serted is­land. The only sur­vivors are a group of schoolkids. By day, they en­joy a trop­i­cal par­adise of sun and sea; but each night, their dreams are haunted by a ter­ri­fy­ing beast. Thrust into a teenage ver­sion of Sur­vivor, be­fore long, this well­be­haved group turns into a blood­thirsty and mur­der­ous tribe.

Gold­ing’s time­less first novel about the loss of in­no­cence in young men, hu­man na­ture and the de­cline of civil­i­sa­tion con­tin­ues to be in­cluded in sec­ondary school cur­ric­ula the world over.

For some stu­dents, it’s the story they re­mem­ber most vividly from grow­ing up. For oth­ers, the story has re­mained with them for­ever. In its por­trayal of rea­son ver­sus chaos, Lord of the Flies in­ves­ti­gates many is­sues that re­main in­cred­i­bly rel­e­vant to so­ci­ety to­day – rules, morals, fear mon­ger­ing, bul­ly­ing and gang ri­valry.

In a pro­fes­sional first, Cen­trepoint’s pro­duc­tion will fea­ture a gen­der-mixed cast. Lead­ing the pact is Horowhenua na­tive Michiel van Echten ( Boys at

the Beach) as Ralph, with Toi Whakaari grad­u­ates Ella HopeHig­gin­son and Com­frey Sanders mak­ing their Cen­trepoint de­buts as Jack and Si­mon.

Cen­trepoint associate di­rec­tor Nathan Mudge re­turns to the stage, hav­ing pre­vi­ously ap­peared in smash hits The Mo­tor Camp and

Stock­cars: The Mu­si­cal. Round­ing out the cast is Leighton Stich­bury as the much-loved Piggy.

Lord of the Flies will also fea­ture the sup­port of some of Manawatu’s best act­ing ta­lent as part of Cen­trepoint’s Open Stage ini­tia­tive. Olivia Costello, Finn David­son, Jeremy Hunt, Madeleine James, Jeff Kings­ford-Brown, Maizy Kings­ford-Brown and Rachel McLean make up the lo­cal con­tin­gency along with mem­bers of Cen­trepoint’s 2017 youth pro­gramme, Base­ment Com­pany.

Open Stage is an ini­tia­tive pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to those in Manawatu’s com­mu­nity who want to grow cre­atively in a sup­ported yet rig­or­ous learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment. It was launched in 2015 with the New Zealand pre­miere of Nick Dear’s Franken­stein, a pro­duc­tion

led by two pro­fes­sional ac­tors with sup­port from lo­cal artists and Base­ment Com­pany, and pre­sented to sold out crowds and crit­i­cal ac­claim.

2016 saw a col­lab­o­ra­tion with 17 com­mu­nity choirs from the lower North Is­land on David Greig’s The Events.

Play­wright and nov­el­ist Nigel Wil­liams’ cap­ti­vat­ing stage adap­ta­tion of Lord of the Flies was orig­i­nally staged by the Royal Shake­speare Com­pany at Strat­ford-upon-Avon in July 1995. Gold­ing him­self at­tended an early draft of the adap­ta­tion a year be­fore his death in 1993.

Gold­ing was born in Corn­wall, Eng­land, in 1911. He grew up in an old 14th century house at the end of a church­yard, and was fear­ful of the grave­yard and the sleep­ing dead. His par­ents wanted him to be a sci­en­tist so in 1930 he went to Ox­ford to study sci­ence but, be­fore long, changed to English lit­er­a­ture.

Dur­ing World War II Gold­ing served with the Royal Navy and

was profoundly af­fected by his ex­pe­ri­ences. After the war he taught at a boys’ school in Sal­is­bury and, in 1954, pub­lished Lord of the Flies.

Years later he said that writ­ing the book was ‘‘like la­ment­ing the lost child­hood of the world.’’ He won the Booker Prize in 1980 with Rites of Pas­sage, was knighted in 1988 and was awarded the No­bel Prize for Lit­er­a­ture in 1993. Early­bird tick­ets for Lord of the

Flies are on sale now, of­fer­ing au­di­ences up to 20 per­cent off stan­dard ticket pric­ing when book­ing for a per­for­mance within the first week of the sea­son. Be quick - shows are sell­ing out!

Lord of the Flies runs from July 15 to Au­gust 5 at Cen­trepoint The­atre. Tick­ets $16 to $40. Book­ings 06-354-5740 or cen­trepoint.co.nz.

Lord of the Flies will be staged at Cen­trepoint The­atre from July 15 to Au­gust 5.

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