Lord of the Flies

What happens when the Lower Ossington Theatre unleashes a group of stranded British school boys on a makeshift island stage with no adults and no rules? Well, their sense of civilization crumbles; they get really dirty and dance around in their underwear. And last night, we had a front row seat for all this chaos.

Whether you read the William Golding classic in school or on your own accord, most people know the story of Lord of the Flies and are familiar with school boys Ralph (Jeff Dingle), Piggy (Micky Myers), Jack (Lindsay Robinson), Simon (Kyle Murray) and the rest of their unfortunate gang. You can probably clearly remember their exploration of good vs evil, of right vs wrong, and how everything takes a terrifying turn for the worst the longer they are on that island, because that terrifying turn is the kind of nightmare that you just can’t quite shake.

This production does a fantastic job of bringing these horrors alive in front of your eyes, much thanks to the strong performances from these young, relatively new faces to the theatre scene. Jack’s decent into madness was perfectly portrayed by Robinson, whose eyes seemed to literally darken as his sanity slowly slipped away. Murray had his own shining moment as Simon wandered off into the forest and stumbled upon the rotting pig’s head, which sent him into his own troubling fit.

The dynamic between Dingle’s Ralph and Myers’ Piggy was just as complicated as we remember. Myers captured that tricky balance between a loveable and hateable character, straddling that line of annoyance perfectly, leaving you uncertain whether you feel sorry for Piggy or not. But your heart really goes out to Dingle, who as Ralph, is just trying to do what is right, survive and be rescued. Poor guy didn’t stand a chance up against that pack of wild school boy hunters. 

These performances, alongside the distressing story line and atmosphere of the small studio theatre really made for a creepy, unsettling theatrical experience. There were certainly scenes that caused us to hold our breath and hide in the safety of the dark shadow of the audience as the blood-painted hunters crept across the front of the stage with torches and a hint of insanity in their eyes, literally right in front of us. It’s enough to make you empathize with Ralph and pray for someone, anyone, to rescue you.

Lord of the Flies is on stage at the Lower Ossington Theatre until December 9. If you miss this production, well, sucks to your asmar.

images from google images

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