Lord Of The Flies
  • By Pete Shaw
  • |
  • 16th Mar 2018
  • |
  • ★★★★

William Golding’s seminal tale of children going feral when left to their own devices on a Pacific island gets a trademark Lazarus Theatre treatment on this their second production during their year-long residency in Greenwich.

A visceral and irresistible production.

During an unnamed war a disparate group of kids are the only survivors of a plane crash. Initially they try to establish order and rules with the use of a conch shell as both rallying cry and talking stick, but a power struggle between the pragmatic Ralph (Amber Wadey) and irascible choir leader, Jack (Nick Cope), sees a split in the group that leads to devastating conclusions.

Director Ricky Dukes brings a passionate approach to this modern classic. Blending powerful physical theatre elements with piercingly raw dialog, Dukes literally fills the auditorium with the story as the cast bellow their lines from the aisles and turn the entire stage left seating area into a makeshift shelter. As the action unfolds, Jack’s choir boys become increasingly bloodied as they chant “Kill The Pig”. This feels like a gastronomic delight as Dukes deconstructs the plot to bring us highly concentrated hits of the story’s milestones, like finding a fiery chilli in a mouthful of tasty curry. The dead parachutist, for instance – a major theme from the original – is dealt with highly effectively with sound, light and fly props in just a few seconds.

Lazarus have chosen a 50/50 gender split in casting, but keep the pronouns male. Golding himself once suggested introducing female characters to the island would fundamentally change the story into one about sex. But because these are girls playing boys, and some of these ladies do bloodthirsty particularly well, it’s never an issue.

Where it suffers is the (apparently enforced) interval. After one and a half hours I was invested enough to see out the last 20 minutes without a break. The second act never quite regained the energy, lacked the physicality of the first and ended with a very cod studio voiceover that felt completely out of place with the action on stage. Rather than giving us the opportunity to see the comparisons of the descent of humanity between the island savages and the at-war adults, this voice of God seemed more like an admonishing newsreader.

Despite the flat note at the end, Lord Of The Flies is still a visceral and irresistible production.

Reviews by Pete Shaw

Good Grief

★★★★
The Phoenix Arts Club Facebook Live Page

Live From The Phoenix Flat

★★★★★
Crescent - The Vaults

Over My Dad's Body

★★★★
Greenwich Theatre

Sleeping Beauty

★★★★★
Christmas in Leicester Square

La Clique

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

William Golding’s explosive 20th century classic hits the stage in an all new ensemble production. Eleven children, one island... an incredible adventure turns into a fight for survival.

Lord of the Flies sees the return of Lazarus Theatre Company to Greenwich Theatre after their five-star production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle in 2017, and will follow their revival of Edward II here in January.

Most Popular See More

Les Misérables: The Staged Concert

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Hairspray

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Prince of Egypt

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets