Masterful performances in Lord of the Flies at Toronto’s Lower Ossington Theatre
I’m sure most of us can say we were forced to read Lord of the Flies in our high school English class at some point. But whether or not you enjoyed it back then – and I’m trying desperately to remember if I even liked it or not! – you’re sure to love this theatre adaptation of the time-tested classic by Nigel Williams.
In case you missed this book, or relied solely on Coles Notes to scrape by, let me give you a quick rundown of this book, and thus, the play. The story opens with a plane crash somewhere in Britain which leaves several young boys and teenage men stranded on a deserted island. A rational leader emerges in Ralph, who is constantly challenged by the stronger, more hedonistic Jack. We meet Piggy, an overweight boy with glasses who is constantly bullied for his lower class accent and his constant quips about what his aunt would say in any given situation.
This play does a fantastic job of making the story jump to life. At its essence, this story explores civilization versus anarchy and what would really happen if a group of young men were left to their own devices. Two factions quickly emerge, that of Ralph, who wants to be rescued and maintain order, and that of Jack, who wants to hunt for pigs and capture the “beast” that seems to taunt them all in a descent into madness.
The actors in the play exemplified the whole groupthink aspect of this play so well and I was genuinely a little frightened during the middle of the play, when they murdered a fellow boy in a bizarre dance because they apparently mistake him for the “beast”. The lights were dim; the boys were shouting and dancing in such a creepy way in their mud-stained skin and torn clothing. If someone had whispered “boo!” in my ear, I think I would have leapt five feet into the air.
There wasn’t one actor who didn’t do an amazing job, but for me, Jack, played by Lindsay Robinson, really stole the show. He had mastered that crazed look that madmen get in their eye and exuded a sense of masculinity and dominance that worked so well for his character. Piggy (played by Micky Myers) was perfectly annoying; immediately transporting me back to high school when I was confused as to whether or not I hated him or felt sorry for him.
You absolutely have to check out this play if you get a chance. And maybe if you’re a lucky high-schooler, it’ll coincide with when you have to read the book and you can ditch those Coles Notes for good!
– Lord of the Flies plays at the Lower Ossington Theatre (100 Ossington Ave) until December 9, 2012
– The show runs from November 22 to December 9 with shows at 8pm on Thursday/Friday/Saturday and matinees at 4pm on Sundays
-Ticket prices are $49
-Tickets are available at 416-915-6747 or online