Lord of the Flies has frequently been adapted for the stage, but the new adaptation from Sydney Theatre Company is one of the most intriguing. Director Kip Williams has assembled a ‘gender-blind’ cast, ‘including trans-masculine non-binary members, members living with disability, and members from a variety of the many backgrounds within Australian communities’. This, Williams suggests, ‘throw[s] light’ on our ideas of masculinity and opens up new interpretations of Golding’s original story. The production features some famous names from film and television: Mia Wasikowska (Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Crimson Peak) as Ralph and Eliza Scanlen (Sharp Objects) as Eric.
Early reviews of the production have been positive, with Steve Dow in The Guardian noting the performances of Wasikowska and Contessa Treffone as Jack. Joyce Morgan, in The Sydney Morning Herald, awards four stars and argues that the play is a ‘powerful warning about the dangers inherent in political structures, us-and-them dichotomies and the manufacturing of fear’. Writing for The Music, Hannah Story calls the cast ‘exciting’ and praises the ‘physicality’ of the performance.
Lord of the Flies is on at the Roslyn Packer Theatre until August 24th.