Many of you will remember studying William Goldings ‘Lord of the Flies’ in English or Drama at high school. Now the book comes to life on stage with a talented cast in the New Zealand premier of the Nigel Williams adaption.
The show opens in a contemporary class of adolescent boys who present symbols of what represents ‘Lord of the Flies’. The teacher begins reading an excerpt from the book. We are then taken into the pages of the book where we as the audience witness a plane crash in the middle of nowhere. The scene transition is very creative with the use of booming crash sounds, video beamed onto set pieces and lightening effects. We are suddenly introduced to a deserted island with very little sign of survival.
We first meet Ralph and Piggy. One a British prep school boy and the latter, the class nerd with a history of getting bullied. Both are aware of the need to survive and scope out who else might be on the island.
Once we meet the choir and their head prefect Jack the story kicks into a struggle of power and survival of the fittest. With a group of charged up adolescent boys It’s not long before the inevitable happens. Rebellion and chaos erupts into a survivor style island adventure. The clash between the civilised and the wild makes us wonder who will live, who will die or will they kill each other before rescuers arrive?
The stand out performer of this show is undoubtedly Zane Fleming. His portrayal of Piggy out performs all other characters without Zane intending to do so. Although his character is seen as a wimp, Zane makes us believe that Piggy is strong and empowering.
Leon Wadham as Ralph has a strong showing. Bringing his leadership qualities to life in what is a very dialogue heavy show for the character.
As leader of the rebellious pack, Jordan Mooney shows off his acting chops in the role of Jack. As the power hungry prefect - he nails the character perfectly. However as the prefect evolves further into himself he comes up a short in being a full on raging savage.
The set design gives this historic story contemporary edge. An impressive multi-use architectural designed apparatus creates many levels. This takes the characters and the audience both high near the rigging, low to the ground and out to the very side skirts of the stage, showing off every height and width of the contemporary island our characters are trapped on.
In true Auckland Theatre Company style, they have taken a classic adaptation and made it their own without loosing the core heart of the story. What you won’t see is the graphical horror and mirror image of the adaption or the book, but rather a refreshing escaped adventure.