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Lord of the Flies at The Belgrade

The company of Lord of the Flies. Photo by Anthony Robling

Lord of the Flies. The Belgrade, Coventry from 25 – 29 April 2023.

Preview by Arabella Neville-Rolfe

Lord of the Flies, a co-production between the Belgrade and Leeds Playhouse, presented in association with Rose Theatre, will play at The Belgrade from Tuesday 25 – Saturday 29 April, with a press night on Tuesday 25 April. Directed by Amy Leach (Macbeth, Oliver Twist, Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet), this must-see production is a modern staging of William Golding’s menacing 20th century classic with creatively integrated audio description available at every performance.

Arrive. Divide. Hunt. Survive.

In the midst of a raging war, a group of British school children are left stranded after surviving a devastating plane crash. Ralph is voted the leader over outcast Piggy and rule-breaking Jack. As tensions rise and the hunger for power grows, the group divide and become wildly out of control. Left to fend for themselves, the children are tested to their limits as they struggle for survival in their new and mysterious surroundings.

Aki Nakagawa, Ciaran O'Breen, Nate Leung, Sade Malone, Justice Ezi, Jason Connor. Photograph Anthony Robling

This production brings William Golding’s 1954 classic story into the 21st century, reflecting the world we live in now while remaining faithful to his fascinating, thought-provoking central premise.  What would a group of schoolchildren do if they were left to their own devices? How would they survive?

In the original novel and older film and stage versions of the story, the young castaways were usually a group of privileged white boys. In her retelling, however, Amy has chosen to reflect the world we live in now – and the audiences who will fill the auditoriums in Coventry and beyond.

Amy Leach said, “We’ve really considered the diversity of our cast, thinking about all those young people – many of whom will be studying the book at school – who will be coming to see the play and will relish seeing themselves reflected in the world of the story,”

“It’s forced us to look again at the story; to question it through a contemporary lens. This isn’t just something that’s happened in the past; it’s something that’s still happening now and will continue to happen. We can choose how we live our lives, and Lord of the Flies clearly shows us the consequences of those choices.”

Aki Nakagawa, Patrick Dineen, Jason Battersby, Nate Leung, Justice Ezi, Sade Malone in Lord of the Flies. Photograph Anthony Robling

“Staging a play is a very different medium to writing a novel. A novel comes alive in our minds, while a play is a living, breathing, 3D experience with real humans connecting with a real audience. Inevitably, we’ve had to make some changes to the geography of the island. We can’t push giant boulders off great heights in the theatre so there are some practical choices that have had to be made. But there is a sense of abstract fear in the book that we can retain and enhance on stage, building this sense of the beast – the Lord of the Flies – as a conceptual as well as a very real threat.”


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