You may remember thumbing through a battered copy of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, maybe passed down from an older sibling, as part of Year 10 English. Or maybe you cheated a little and just watched the movie.

The ultimate tale of power, civilisation and humankind’s innate duality is manifesting in a new Melbourne production. But it comes with a twist: the cast is entirely female.

Adapted for the stage by Nigel Williams and directed by Sydney Theatre Company resident director Kip Williams, US-A-UM’s production of Lord of the Flies is offering its audience a new perspective in examining the primitive heart of civilisation.

“I think in storytelling, particularly in theatre, which is a medium to return to past stories to re-investigate them, the characters who are physically dominant – who engage in physical power play – are almost exclusively male,” says Williams.

“One of the great things offered to our audience in this production is the opportunity to examine those traditionally male domains and then engage in them in ways that can be occupied by women also.”

The gender switch allows us to re-examine the well-known parable through a 21st century lens, and have a new conversation about the story and the way that masculinity operates in the world today.

This interpretation of Golding’s island doesn’t feature sand and palms, but instead an isolated and raised performance space where the cast of nine actors will remain stranded for the entire performance.

And be wary, warns Williams. While this bloody, disturbing tale is about children, it is most certainly not for children.

Lord of the Flies is showing at the Malthouse Theatre (Tower Theatre) from June 28 to July 14. Tickets are $25 and available online or at (03) 9685 5111.

malthousetheatre.com.au
us-a-um.com