A stirring, smashing, stunning adapatation
Theatre masterpiece Lord of the Flies crash-landed in High Wycombe last week. Camilla Goodman reviews the show
IN a word - Wow! I was completely and utterly blown away by the sensationally stunning show the Lord of the Flies, which opened at the Wycombe Swan on Tuesday, November 17 and ran until Saturday.
William Golding’s 20th century classic Lord of the Flies explodes onto the stage in a remarkable production direct from London’s award-winning Regent’s Park Theatre.
When a group of schoolboys survive a catastrophic plane crash, what starts as a desert island adventure quickly descends into a struggle for survival in a darkly sinister world of superstition and immorality.
I first discovered Lord of the Flies over a decade ago when I studied it for drama at school, and I was completed fascinated by it.
Unfortunately, when I was a pupil, I did not have the opportunity to go and see it performed on stage, which I was gutted about.
However, they do say good things come to those who wait, and oh boy, was it worth the wait.
Before last night, I had only seen the 1963 film version of Lord of the Flies, which was originally a book written in 1954, so I was curious, and a little cautious, about how it would play out on stage.
The answer – extremely well.
I was worried a lot of the drama seen in the film would be lost on the stage, but it was the complete opposite, it was intensified.
I felt like I was on the island with the boys, which was emphasised by the actors regularly breaking the fourth wall.
I was sat on the edge of my seat for the majority of the play, which was captivating from start to finish.
From the second I walked into the auditorium and spotted the set, I was gripped.
The set was completely breathtaking, and by far one of the very best I have ever seen – and I am including West End shows in that. And it only became more impressive as the play went on and boasted its many trap doors and layers, which complimented the actors’ movement.
Lighting is not something I normally take much notice of when I am watching a show, but it enhanced the set as it portrayed day and night and highlighted what it wanted you to see and concealed what it did not.
The astoundingly talented cast was mainly made up of teenagers and young adults. The show’s youngest star, on the night I saw it, was 11-year-old Benedict Barker, from Beacosnfield, who studies drama at Stagecoach Theatre School, also in Beaconsfield.
He was absolutely amazing and I’m pretty sure almost all the audience wanted to adopt him because he was so sweet! As Benedict grows up I am confident the size of his roles will grow too.
The three principal characters, Jack, played by understudy Connor Brabyn on the night I saw it, Ralph, played by Luke Ward-Wilkinson and Piggy, played by Anthony Roberts, were quite simply breathtaking. They were full of energy from start to finish and had you hooked on every word they said, they were born for these roles.
It is also worth praising Keenan Munn-Francis, who played Simon, who has some very challenging scenes in the show, which he executed perfectly.
Matthew Castle played the psychopath Roger to p werfection, he was really quite terrifying!
Every single cast member was phenomenal and each play their part in making Lord of the Flies a masterpiece, they make the show.
Another thing I do not normally notice when watching a play is the movement choreography, but it was so beautifully done in this production it was hard not to notice as the boys weaved in and out of each other and around and over the set.
One of my favourite features in the show was when some of the cast moved in slow motion while others continued at
normal pace, and then a few seconds later, bang, everyone was back at normal speed.
It was usually done during high-paced scenes and it was so effective.
The music and sound effects used in the show were compelling and complimented the action perfectly.
Lord of the Flies is more than 60 years old, but it is still as relevant today as it was then. The director of this show has made it even more relevant by adding in modern references, such as selfies, contemporary songs and references to current television shows, such as I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here.
Overall, Lord of the Flies is a solid five out of five stars and it is, without question, the best play I have seen and I am desperate to do so again.
Lord of the Flies really is Lord of the theatre productions.
I would urge you to catch it while you can.
Lord of the Flies is on a UK tour until March.
For tour dates visit www. lordoftheflies.co.uk.
Striking: The set for Lord of the Flies included the crashed plane