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Thrilling take on Lord of the Flies is explosive success in Catford
You realise the power of an intimate theatre when an actress spits and a bit of it lands on your boot.
I truly felt part of the action during Lord of the Flies at Catford’s Broadway Studio Theatre last Tuesday.
Sitting in the front row, the strong smell of fake blood was unavoidable and I worried my feet might get in the way of the tumbling actors.
But that kind of intensity is exactly what you want from such an exciting, moving production – the only downside was the constant chatter of school kids behind me.
With actors literally within spitting distance, pouring their hearts and souls into their performance, you’d like to think even teenagers would have enough respect to be quiet and listen, but sadly this wasn’t the case with the minority.
Director Cameron Jack, who has enjoyed a successful acting career for nearly 20 years, has taken this William Golding classic and violently shoved it into the 21st century.
A plane crashes on a deserted island, the only survivors are a group of school children, there are no adults and no rules and before long the children’s fragile sense of order begins to collapse.
The paradise island turns into a hellish nightmare and before long, a few kids turn utterly wild and savage, murdering each other and singling out the weakest links.
The role of Jack – who represents evil and violence – is unusually played by a teenage girl in this production and it works incredibly well.
Adding an element of sexual tension between her and leader Ralf gives the play a dangerous edge, and perhaps makes it more relevant to today.
If there is anything sure to get kids interested in classic literature, it’s this thrill-ride of a show.
Catch Lord of the Flies at the Broadway until October 28.