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Lord of the Flies

4 starsTouring England during March and April (schedule and information)
Reviewed at the Greenwich Theatre, London by Alice de Cent

Sell a Door’s UK tour of Nigel Williams’ stage adaptation of Lord of the Flies sets the action in a school gymnasium.  Richard Evans’ design creates a versatile and evocative space, constructed of boxing equipment and wide steps, which the actors use to create the island in a well-crafted, physical opening scene.

This brave concept is matched by a strong cast, with the entire ensemble offering high-quality performances.  They rise to the emotional extremes of the marooned boys’ decent into savagery with confidence and commitment.

Remaining a highlight throughout, the company’s dynamic and engaging movement sequences tread the line between beauty and brutality. Combining grace and power, they ably communicate the intoxicating lure of the characters’ primal urges.

With such well-developed design and fast-paced physicality, it is the much-performed script that seems the weakest aspect – not really pulling its weight in the creation of the narrative. Perhaps leaning a little too far towards naturalism, the dialogue seemed repetitive, and I felt it could have stood some paring by this obviously dynamic and visually gifted company.

Bringing a new concept to a well-known work is often risky business, but Sell a Door do so impressively. With an original score and high production values, the visual storytelling outstrips the dialogue in this version of the classic tale.

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