Theatre in Wales

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Exciting and compelling young actors

At the Sherman

Sherman Theatre/Theatr Clwyd- Lord of the Flies , Sherman Theatre , October 18, 2018
At the Sherman by Sherman Theatre/Theatr Clwyd- Lord of the Flies Director Emma Jordan has achieved a pretty near perfect production of Nigel William’s adaptation of William Golding’s powerful, iconic novel. The impressive multi-level set by James Perkins indicated we are in for exciting times as we enter the auditorium. Our comfortable expectations are soon shattered by an amazing and powerful effect of sound and light by Tim Mascall and Philip Stewart. The plane has crashed and we quickly become aware of the human devastation it has caused as we meet this group of young survivors.

We are immediately drawn into their awful predicament by the deft and strongly committed performances by every member of this energetic and compelling cast. Gina Fillingham gives us a totally believable performance as Piggy as she tries to bring about some kind of order with a conch shell.

Such is the truth in all the performances of these young actors that although they retain their original boys names, that they are all played by a team of feisty young women, some of them making their professional debuts, never jars.

Lola Adaja is a strong and determined Ralph, who sets out to claim the position of leader. There is a quick challenge from Kate Lamb’s fiery Jack. She is one of the first to go ‘native’ when the desperate situation starts to disturb their child like equilibrium.

Quickly the group divides into those who become devoted to savagery and those who they set themselves upon a different road. They decide to light a fire in the hope that they will be spotted. They demand Piggy’s glasses to get the fire going. Piggy is scared and reluctant to let them go. The way they are roughly taken is an indication of the savagery that will follow where Piggy becomes one of the main sufferers. The moment he goes is breath taking.

Jack organises a hunting party. His party sharpen sticks into nasty looking spears. He becomes the leader of this destroyer faction. They find a pig and kill it and use its blood to ‘blood’ themselves. The killing party soon turn on the others. The way the cast enter so totally into this savagery is remarkable and truly unnerving.

All ten of these young performers are excellent and totally convincing. Olivia Marcus’ Simon feels the need to protect his friends but can’t quite work out how it could be done. He’s epileptic and goes into a very realistic spasm. It’s a cruel word they have now entered. As Simon reappears from the inner part of the island the boys mistake him for the ‘Beast’ and attack him viciously.

Lowri Izzard’s Sam and Mari Izzard’s Eric capture our sympathy as two of the quieter members of the group. They don’t want to take part in any of the rough stuff but they are roughed up themselves by Ralph and Roger, also another strong performance from Hannah Boyce.

The production with its compelling performances clearly draws this allegorical breakdown of civilisation with precision and flare.

Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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