(5 / 5)
Director: Emma Jordon
Adapted by Nigel Williams
From the second I jumped out of my seat when the lights went down in the theatre I was hooked! Unfortunately I had entered the theatre with a pre conceived idea – that I wasn’t going to enjoy this production. … because of the very thing that was creating all the hype, the all female cast. I though the gender / feminist card would be thrust down the audiences throat as hard as that of the casting of a female Dr Who! I was wrong. For the first few minutes I fought hard with myself, looking for flaws – but honestly the play just won me over.
James Perkins design was simple but effective, multi layered and stylized – it didn’t need anything dramatic the play was so well crafted it could have been performed on a empty stage. Tim Mascoll’s clever use of light, shade and silhouettes, added to the sinister savagery consuming the Island and gave depth to the set.
The all female cast were young, playing young children / teenagers – not an easy task – it can be very easy to over act and it looks ridiculous, underact and the importance of the childhood is lost. This cast was spot on – Each one showing the transition from girl to woman to savage as well as portraying Golding’s symbolism . Piggy rationality, Rhalp civilisation, Simon innocence, Jack, savagery, Roger evil. Each one gave a well rounded performance each one being allowed to deliver moments of humour amid the unfolding horror.
Piggy was sublime and was a treat from beginning to tragic end – the likability of Gina Fillingham’s performance only heightened the pathos felt for the unheard, unlikely heroine. This was a stark contrast to the hatefully personality beautifully portrayed by Kate Lamb as Jack. The timing and interaction of all the girls was strong, credit to movement director Liz Ranken who utilised the bond of the cast none more so than with – Lowri and Mari Izzard as sisters Eric and Sam who were faultless. It was the timing and rhythm of the play that enabled the girls to work themselves into the halftime frenzy – creating highs and lows in pace and emotion allowing the audience to catch up with the events unfolding on the stage.
It was disturbing, as a female to watch the sisterhood destroy itself – the book depicts the symbol the boys waiting to be destroyed by the Beast aka man- this takes on a whole different meaning when you think of teenage girls on the brink of womanhood being petrified by the beast of man!
Most of us are familiar with the story of The Lord of The Flies and the demise of the boys left to their own devices in a world with no order – but to see females descend into the chaos of evil starting at innocent name calling and teasing, ending in death was bitter. I watched the play with my teenage son – who thought “the play was brilliant – but would have been more believable with boys as girls wouldn’t behave that way”
I disagree, as I have been a teenage girl and could fully buy into the ugliness that transpired. With this I learned two things – casting isn’t important the quality of the acting is and boy, girl, man or woman we are all victims of humanity, with a frailty of sanity on a knife edge between good and evil.
Once again a 5 Star production in this coproduction from Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre and Mold’s Theatr Clwyd who are back where they belong – leading the way in North Wales Theatre.