William Golding’s Nobel prize-winning novel, Lord of the Flies, must be one of the most studied of all time and Nigel Williams’s stage adaptation one of the most performed.
It’s a story of good versus evil, of savagery versus civilisation, of order versus chaos and in this bold and imaginative production at The Edge, Solihull Society of Art’s Drama delivers the best of this classic allegorical tale in some style.
A group of schoolchildren survive when their plane is shot down in the midst of a nuclear war, but what starts as a desert island adventure free from the restraints of adult supervision quickly descends into a struggle for survival in a world of superstition and immorality.
The production’s striking set is at once immersive, bringing the audience right to the very edge of the plane’s jagged remains and the scarred landscape behind it and replacing the traditional setting of a beach – a clever move which is perfect for this performance space.
Sound and lighting are executed flawlessly throughout to add to the tension and drama.
Traditionally a cast of boys, director Andrew Exeter made the thoughtful decision to introduce girls into his talented young cast with great success.
Dan Greenway and Meghan Haynes share the role of Piggy during this run and in this performance Greenway stands out with his engaging, emotional portrayal which brings across the character’s vulnerability beautifully.
Meanwhile Harry Cox impresses as the violent and dominating Jack, contrasting well with Rory Rollason’s portrayal of moralistic leader Ralph. While Jack Christou shines in a passionate performance as the sadistic fanatic, Roger.
There’s great support too from the likes of Patrick Shannon as the innocent ‘littlun’ Perceval and Sophie-Mae Bourne as the doomed Simon.
The action has a lovely pace and intelligence to it which is sometimes missing from younger casts and the drama ebbs and flows in all the right places.
Andrew Exeter, his co-director Ricardo Alexander and the entire production team and cast should be extremely proud of this slick, intelligent production which brings out the very best in one of the greatest tales of all time with refreshing originality.
Lord of the Flies plays at The Edge until Friday 1 September.
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