In what is set to be the theatre event of the year, Sydney Theatre Company Artistic Director Kip Williams will direct an exciting ensemble of adult actors to retell the William Golding masterpiece Lord of the Flies at the Roslyn Packer Theatre this July.
Australian screen star Mia Wasikowska (Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland) will be joined by Eliza Scanlen (HBO’s Sharp Objects), Yerin Ha (soon to be seen in Steven Spielberg’s Halo), Contessa Treffone (STC’s Harp in the South), Daniel Monks (Pulse), Rahel Romahn (STC’s Harp in the South), Nyx Calder (Belvoir 25A’s Jess and Joe Forever), Nikita Waldron (STC’s Mosquitoes), Joseph Althouse (Old Fitz’s Angels in America), Justin Amankwah (Outhouse Theatre Co’s The Flick) and Mark Paguio (ATYP’s I Walk In Your Words). Together they will bring Golding’s island of boys to life.
“I was really interested in putting together an ensemble of the most exciting young actors that I could find, regardless of gender,” said Kip Williams. “A group which at their core would be feminist, pro queer and inclusive. And I wanted them all to be from a generation who are more radical in the way they think about dividing up power.”
William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is a 20th century masterpiece, as relevant today as it was on its publication in 1954. In it, Golding created an enduring modern myth, examining humanity’s terrifying capacity for self-destruction. In the midst of war, a plane evacuating a group of schoolboys is shot down over a deserted tropical island.
With no adult survivors, the boys, ranging in age from six to twelve, are left to fend for and govern themselves. At first it feels like a game. A conch shell is found, and bestowed the symbolism of a ‘talking stick’.
A leader is elected in Ralph (Mia Wasikowska), who assigns duties to ensure the group’s survival. But soon Jack (Contessa Treffone) is jealous of Ralph’s power, and begins to cause divisions amongst the boys, as he forms a hunting party and prioritises bloodthirsty pig-hunting over Ralph’s more practical shelter building.
The situation escalates when a strange flying shape is mistaken for a beast, and the boys begin to be afraid. Innocent parties like the philosophical Simon (Joseph Althouse) and the hapless Piggy (Rahel Romahn) will be caught in the crossfire as Jack and his followers grow increasingly savage in their actions. More than just pig’s blood will be spilled before long.
“Audiences should expect a dark, powerful, thrilling and moving retelling Lord of the Flies,” added Williams. “It will be a visually inventive piece of theatre which will ask them to see this story in a new way.”
Director: Kip Williams Featuring: Joseph Althouse, Justin Amankwah, Nyx Calder, Yerin Ha, Daniel Monks, Mark Paguio, Rahel Romahn, Eliza Scanlen, Contessa Treffone, Nikita Waldron, Mia Wasikowska Set Designer: Elizabeth Gadsby Costume Designer: Marg Horwell Lighting Designer: Alexander Berlage Composer and Sound Designer: James Brown Dramaturg: Eryn Jean Norvill Assistant Director: Heather Fairbairn Fight Director: Nigel Poulton
Lord of the Flies
Roslyn Packer Theatre, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay (Sydney)
Season: 29 July – 24 August 2019 (previews: 23 – 26 July)
Information and Bookings: www.sydneytheatre.com.au
Image: Mia Wasikowska to feature in Lord of the Flies – photo by Rene Vaile