10 July 2013

Mini review: Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies
US-A-UM and Malthouse Theatre
7 July 2013
The Tower, Malthouse Theatre
to 14 July

An adaption of William Golding's 1954 novel Lord of the Flies open's Malthouse Theatre's Helium program: five new works by independent artists. Flies is the debut for US-A-UM, who are based in Sydney and founded by director Kip Williams and producers Samuel J Hagen and Kate McBride.

The season's sold out, so hold tight to your tickets or kill a beast to secure one.

Set in a private boarding school, genteel furniture (design by Michael Hankin) becomes the island the children are stranded on and is soon as menacing and unknown as the dark forest and as exposed as the open beach.

The boys are played by young women, who keep the male names and behave like young teenagers who have been torn away from their homes and believe they might be the only people left alive. It's not women playing men and any assumptions about gender disappear in moments. And having gone to a private girls school, I recognised everything.

It's a stunning reading of the book. It grasps Golding's tone and turns it up to deafening, while bringing a sense of right-now attitudes and questions, and telling it in ways that only theatre can.

And the cast are sensational: Alexandra Aldrich, Zoe Boesen, Cat Davies, Michele Durman, Stacey Duckworth, Emma Griffin, Fiona Pepper, Contessa Treffone and Eloise Winestock.  It's impossible to name one above the other as their performances are so consistent and they work as an ensemble who wouldn't consider elevating one performance above an other.

If you can't find a ticket, best to book for the four other Helium shows, and there are only a handful of tickets left for the final MTC NEON show, Sisters Grimm's The Sovereign Wife.

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