Last night I chaired my second of three post-show Q&As with Lazarus Theatre Company as part of their 2019 residency at Greenwich Theatre – their highly acclaimed return production of Lord of the Flies.
William Golding‘s novel was published in 1954 and was highly influenced by the wartime experiences he’d lived through. “Anyone who moved through those years without understanding that man produces evil as a bee produces honey, must have been blind or wrong in the head,” Golding once observed, according to a programme note.
In the novel, a group of British schoolboys find themselves stranded on an uninhabited island after a plane crash. Without adult supervision, they soon became embroiled in a savage fight for survival.
Here, Lazarus’ gender-equal ensemble casting, music-thumpingly modern movement and scaled-back Brechtian staging all work to bring a fresh new perspective to Golding’s post-war classic. Good versus evil, chaos versus order, civilisation versus savagery, a battle for leadership and power, a yearning for a return to normalcy, the end of innocence: there are so many spine-tingling resonances with what we’re living through in our own tumultuous times.
I discussed that and more with Lord of the Flies director Ricky Dukes, dramaturg Sara Reimers, movement director Julia Cave and the 11-strong cast: Alice Hutchinson (who plays Ralph), Tommy Carmichael (Piggy), Matt Penson (Jack), Benjamin Victor (Simon), Denis Rai, Larissa Teale, David Angland, Phoebe Stapleton, Darcy Elizabeth, Lucy Ioannou and Oliver Franks.
Lord of the Flies runs at Greenwich Theatre until this Saturday 30 March 2019. It’s followed by Lazarus’ new adaptation of Salome from 14 to 25 May 2019, including a post-show Q&A on 20 May.
— Terri Paddock (@TerriPaddock) March 26, 2019
Event photography by Peter Jones.
Production photography by Adam Trigg.