Lord of the Flies, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

7 Jun

I read William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies a couple of years ago, therefore I was very interested in seeing this adaption.

Toovey

It is about a group of school boys, who are the only survivors of a plane crash and try to govern themselves on a deserted island, with a terrible outcome.

Once again the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre managed to transform the auditorium and stage perfectly for this play. Smoke machines add to the atmosphere of a recent plane crash even before it starts and the set is simple, but very effective.

I was told that the cast members are between 17 and 23 years old and for most of them it is their professional debut. All the more, kudos to them! They were great!

The two main characters, Ralph and Jack, were played by Alistair Toovey and James Clay. Both of them werefantastic and there was great chemistry between them.

Toovey gave a great performance as the reasonable, polite and elected leader of the group, and especially in the end I found it heartbreaking to watch him.

Clay

James Clay was outstanding. He completely stayed in character throughout the play (and even the curtain call – no smiling etc.), to the extent that he actually seemed posessed. It was fascinating to watch him change from the prefect of the choir boys to the unrestrained, bestial personality.

I liked George Bukhari as Piggy. There was a great rapport between him and Toovey.

James McConville and Stuart Matthews as Sam and Eric were great and both looked so incredibly young (and alike!). There was just something about them that made me  watching them even when the focus wasn’t on them.

Simon was played by Joshua Williams and his last scene must be one of the most chilling moments I’ve ever witnessed in a theatre. Superbly acted!

McConville and Matthews

Matt Ingram, Jordan Maxwell, Sam Clemmett and Theo Cowan as Roger, Maurice, Bill and Henry shone as well, as did 9 year old Harrison Sansostri, who played the part of Perceval at this performance.

I loved the staging and choreography of the play. Especially the fight scenes were very impressive. The use of freeze frames was very effective and added to the atmosphere. I saw a matinee, but I actually wish I had gone to an evening performance. Watching the second act in the twilight with all the smoke and torches must be incredible.

Nevertheless, I was mesmerised the whole way through. It is a very faithful adaption of the book seeing it acted out by such a  young and enthusiastc cast was very moving.

If you can get there before it closes, do it! It’s well worth it!

Toovey and Bukhari

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