Based on the 1954 novel by William Golding, this play addresses a number of complex social issues, as relevant today as they were at the time of the novel’s origin.
The play takes place during a period of global conflict. A plane, evacuating a group of school aged boys, crash lands on a pristine island. The plot unfolds as the boys are forced to make decisions as to how they are going to govern themselves, and what their principles and ideals really are.
While this text is a most worthy choice for presentation, it does not come without its difficulties. The entire cast is comprised of young, school age boys, numbering more than a dozen. Experience tells me that it is no easy feat trying to concentrate that much energy into a single, intricate, project. However, director, Sarah Christiner, seemingly has managed to achieve the unthinkable, and produce a rather splendid production.
Performed within MosArts’ main theatre, the set (by Sarah Christiner and Brian Mahoney) envelops the audience within the play’s island setting. Comprised of a main stage, and smaller satellite stages, the set cleverly allows a number of various levels and distances to be observed within a relatively small performance space. Entrances and exits through the audience are not an uncommon feature in contemporary performance, and therefore not noteworthy unto themselves, however, the use of the space to perform primal chants from the unknown, unseen corners of the room evoke a suitably eerie feeling. Furthermore the full use of the performance space gives the island setting a much more realistic scale. The only notable drawback to the way in which the space was used, lies in what was either a poor directorial choice, or a moment of passion on the part of an actor. Either way, it is never a good idea to direct uncontrolled projectiles towards audiences, at any level of theatre... I would suggest taking a seat away from stage left.
The technical components of this play have given me a great deal to consider. The soundscape, by Evan Skinner, was tremendously effective in setting the mood of the play, though I couldn’t help but feel as though I somehow recognised the production’s theme tune. The lighting design, by Aaron Smith, was absolutely saturated in colour. My initial response to the lighting effect was that they were perhaps a little overdone, however, upon reflection, the oversaturated lighting and abundance of colours seems to successfully evoke a wide range of emotional responses. The plays primal themes walk hand in hand with the production’s primary colour scheme.
The acting quality in this production is, overall, quite high. Except for a notable issue with confidence with lines, each character was fully realised by each of the actors. I must make special note of Caelan Steedman in the role of Maurice. Whether in the spotlight, low light, or in tableau, his presence was captivating, and his character never broke.
Commencing July 29 at Camelot Theatre, Mosman Park, Lord of the Flies is well worth taking the time to see.
Harbour Theatre present
Lord of the Flies
based on the novel by William Golding | adapted by Nigel Williams
Directed by Sarah Christiner
Venue: Camelot Theatre, Mosman Park WA
Dates: 29 July – 7 August 2016
Bookings: www.taztix.com.au | 92553336