- Miles Hedley
LORD OF THE FLIES at Greenwich Theatre
Ever think acting is easy? Then you should have seen the performance of Lord Of The Flies that I saw at Greenwich Theatre. The young cast not only had to push themselves to their physical limits as the savage drama unfolded but also had to deal with some restless teenagers in the stalls whose inappropriate laughter must have been hugely distracting. The actors didn’t miss a beat, though, which was nothing less than heroic. The noisy faction in the audience were the ultimate losers, however, because this Lazarus Theatre Company production of William Golding’s great novel about marooned children was a gem – brilliantly acted by the cast and tautly directed by Ricky Dukes, although I was baffled by the decision to cast girls as five of the boys. Ben Jacobs’ clever lighting allowed the stage to be divvied up into far-flung parts of the island where the kids were stranded after a plane crash. And Dukes ensured the tension never faltered as the youngsters’ society quickly collapsed into bloody civil war. The two murders were genuinely shocking, particularly the killing of Piggy. But it was the acting that made this production special and rendered the mixed casting largely irrelevant. The four roles at the heart of the story – Ralph, Piggy, Jack and Simon – were magnificently played by Amber Wadey, Luke MacLeod, Nick Cope and Benjamin Victor. They were given excellent support by Michael Holden, Nell Hardy, Calvin Crawley, Robyn Holdaway, Georgina Barley, Abbi Douetil and James Russell-Morley. The actors’ youth meant they had had very little professional theatre experience between them. But you would never have known that because each of them showed an emotional maturity well beyond their years – and helped make this a memorable evening.