TICKETS: Tickets have been released for a preview matinee performance on Wenesday 8th October, book immediately to secure your ticket before they sell out!
A new dance production by Matthew Bourne is always an event, and his treatment of Lord of the Flies , to judge by the buzz generated on its progress around the UK before arriving in London, will be no exception. This is already a Returns Only run, but it’s well worth trying for a ticket until the last possible moment.
William Golding’s dystopian novel was set on a desert island where a group of English schoolboys find themselves marooned and have to create their own civilisation with disastrous consequences.
Bourne, however, sets his version of Lord of the Flies in an abandoned theatre, giving the work's title and certain twists in the plot new resonance. It can only increase anticipation to know in advance that the character of Piggy, the book’s archetypal victim, is dispatched by a spotlight dropped from the ruined fly-tower.
Whatever you think of his choreography or general style, Bourne has always been clever at recasting well-known stories in a way that keeps the structure intact, but overlays it with a vivid parallel world.
Strictly speaking Bourne bills himself as ‘director’ on this occasion, with his long-time collaborator Scott Ambler as ‘choreographer’.
A notable feature of the production is its cast. In each venue where the piece has been performed, Bourne has recruited 24 local teenage boys and trained them up to dance alongside his seven professional principals, although there is never any sense that this is – perish the thought – community theatre.
The benefit to this particular project is profound, in that Lord of the Flies is peopled largely with young males close in age to those in the original story, and thus their descent from order to anarchy is horribly believable, as they prance like monkeys across Lez Brotherston’s set, or stomp through rough-edged tribal dances.
In the group slaying of the character of Simon, surrounded by the teeming cast moving in concentric circles, there is a clear reference to the Rite of Spring . This is typical of Bourne. In never matters if you don’t pick up his cultural references - often nods to historic ballets or classic films - but they are there in abundance if you look for them.
The music is by Terry Davies, a frequent Bourne collaborator. Here, initially at least, his work has a Caribbean flavour, but the music darkens with each succeeding scene until the denouement, when the boys are rescued, takes place in a shocked and prolonged silence.
On the whole, the critical consensus has been that Golding’s narrative has been honoured in dance that makes you both remember the book in all its vivid detail and see it in a new light.
|What||Matthew Bourne's Lord of the Flies, Sadler's Wells|
Roseberry Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN | MAP
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
08 Oct 14 – 11 Oct 14, matinees 14:30 Thursday 9th & Saturday 11th Oct
|Website||click here to book via the Sadler's Wells website|