Savagery: A scene taken from the 1990 film Lord of the Flies based on a novel by William Golding. *Photo courtesy of Metro Goldwin Meyer
Savagery: A scene taken from the 1990 film Lord of the Flies based on a novel by William Golding. *Photo courtesy of Metro Goldwin Meyer

The disturbing tale about man’s descent into savagery, is to be performed by students at Warwick Academy. 

The Lord of the Flies follows a group of youngsters stranded on an island. Tribal and  survival instincts kick in and is s a microcosm for society itself. The play, based on the classic novel by William Golding, shows at Warwick Academy on November 27, 29 & 30. We spoke to head of Drama at the school Chris Jones. 

Why did you choose Lord of the Flies this year?

I think it’s an excellent story plus I like plays that have something to say about the human condition — I guess what you’d call ‘message’ plays. I think it also gave us a lot of scope for experimentation on a technical basis. I was getting bored of presenting plays naturalistically and wanted to direct something where we could try something different in terms of set, lighting and stylised presentation. 

Who did you choose for the lead characters and why?

I suppose if I was forced I would say there are leads, they would be Noah Marshall, Zachary Myers and Zachary Friesen. Zachary Myers plays Piggy; I’ve worked with him before and know from teaching him that he had the ability to make Piggy slightly annoying yet sympathetic. As Piggy is written it would be very easy for him to just be irritating and dislike him. I wanted Piggy to have dignity… I’ve wanted to give Noah a lead role for the last few years — Ralph is the hero of the play but very sensitive and moral. I knew Noah has the capacity to reflect those feelings on stage — many boys wouldn’t have the guts to show such vulnerability. Zachary Friesen is my discovery of the year. It’s his first production and I’m in awe at his commitment, intelligence and talent. He is truly chilling as Jack, the play’s chief villain.

What will people walk away remembering from this performance?

I think it is pretty disturbing but necessarily so. It deals with the depths of the human soul and our capacity to turn so easily on our fellow man. 

We have tried to do something very different in our presentation… Overall though, I do believe there is hope there as represented by the character of Ralph. I’m positive enough to believe that one way or another good will overcome ultimately.
The original play features all boys, have you cast any females in your version?

The cast of girls was never an issue to us; I believe girls can be just as bad as boys! I never considered casting girls playing boys. It never works… Well maybe Mrs Doubtfire which was very funny.
Is the play faithful to the book/film?

For the most part yes, but it’s truncated in terms of plot and some of William Golding’s details are left out. That works to our advantage as I wanted the performance to have real pace and not just turn into a boring play about a group of kids falling out and killing each other. 

There is a symbolic transformation of a character at the end which we left out as we couldn’t understand what it meant and... it just came across as pretentious. 

Tickets available by calling 239-9456 or from Warwick Academy. General  tickets are $25 (Nov 29 & 30  at 7:30pm). Tickets for the Cocktail reception (Nov 27    from 6:30pm) are $50.