Lord of the Flies
William Golding’s classic novel slightly adjusted for modern times
This article is from 2011.
The words ‘contemporary adaptation’ can send shivers down a reviewer’s spine, especially when the source material is one of the 20th century’s finest literary works. Thankfully, Big Spirit Youth Theatre’s reworking of William Golding’s 1954 novel doesn’t take too many liberties, instead just answering some questions about what would happen if a group of school kids got stranded on a desert island today. In other words, the youngsters involved do have mobile phones (unfortunately useless when surrounded by the ocean), but at no point do they say, ‘OMFG look its a massiv monster innit, lol x’.
In fact, the youthful cast is the main strength of the show, with credit in particular going to Dom Creasy in the role of smart-but-edgy Simon. Also of note is John Wallis, who plays primary antagonist Jack – a tad over-the-top at first, but increasingly believable as events on the island spiral out of the control. The rest of the cast acquit themselves admirably, and writer/director Rob Hughes’ decision to throw some female characters into the mix does nothing to lessen the testosterone-fuelled tension of the plot, instead adding an extremely sinister layer of sexual tension. On the negative side, the actors occasionally show their inexperience, and the penultimate scene is somewhat unfulfilling, but it’s a strong production overall.