Lord of the Flies

ACM Lord of the FliesIn what promises to be one of the theatrical events of this year, Arts Centre Melbourne presents Matthew Bourne’s production of Lord of the Flies on the State Theatre stage from 5 – 9 April 2017.

An Australian exclusive, Lord of the Flies is an adaptation of William Golding’s classic novel, transformed into a chilling, beautiful and hugely entertaining new production by Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures & Re:Bourne.

Although published over 60 years ago, Lord of the Flies is still one of the most widely read and frequently examined works of 20th century literature. In this theatrical performance, the action is transferred from a deserted island to a deserted theatre as a group of schoolboys find themselves abandoned. With no adults around they start to make their own rules and create their own civilisation, before order breaks down and the story builds to an electrifying climax.

Golding’s legendary characters are brought to life with raw physicality, emotional intensity and breathtaking performances by a cast of New Adventures professional dancers from the UK, professional dancers from Australia and remarkable young talent from across Victoria, who will be sourced through a large-scale and state-wide grassroots community outreach program.

New Adventures principal dancer Dominic North will play the leading role of Ralph alongside Luke Murphy (Piggy) and Dan Wright (Jack). They will be joined by six Australian professional dancers: Jordan Bretherton, Shay Debney, Damian Meredith, Taylor Scanlan, Kyall Shanks and Patrick Weir, and an ensemble of 23 boys and young men who have been chosen to form the Young Ensemble, following an extensive workshop and audition process.

Ranging in age from 10 to 25, the Young Ensemble are from areas of Victoria including Leongatha, Shepparton, Swan Hill, Mildura, Beaconsfield and Cranbourne as well as metropolitan suburbs including Blackburn, Box Hill, South Yarra, Brunswick West, Preston, Reservoir, Hoppers Crossing, Edithvale, Dandenong North, Oakleigh, Hampton Park, Hampton, Mentone and Bentleigh East.

Found predominantly through an Arts Centre Melbourne community outreach program and open workshops that began in October 2016, the Young Ensemble includes a mixture of boys and young men with varying experiences including some who have little to no dance experience, those from Singapore, Afghanistan and the United States and a cast member who is also in a metal band. Including two 10 year olds and two 11 year olds, the average age of the 23 Young Ensemble members is 14 years 7 months.

“Arts Centre Melbourne prides itself in bringing people together for remarkable experiences and this collaboration ticks all the boxes – for the participants, the local dance sector and the wider community, as well as the audiences who will see the results when the work reaches the stage,” said Claire Spencer, CEO Arts Centre Melbourne.

“We are so delighted to be working with Matthew Bourne and his team on this powerful production, bringing to life through dance William Golding’s influential work that continues to have such impact today. This is an extraordinary opportunity for Victorian boys and young men, many of them from backgrounds or circumstances where pathways to performance are limited.”

Sir Matthew Bourne OBE is widely hailed as the UK’s most popular and successful choreographer and director. For close to 30 years he has been creating and directing dance for musicals, opera, theatre, film as well as his own highly successful, award-winning companies.

He is the creator of the world’s longest running ballet production (Swan Lake), a five-time Olivier Award winner (Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady, Play Without Words, Swan Lake), and the only British director to have won the Tony Award for both Best Choreographer and Best Director of a Musical (Swan Lake).

Bourne has been recognised by over 40 international awards, including following Dame Margot Fonteyn, as only the second dance recipient of the Hamburg Shakespeare Prize for the Arts and being the first recipient, in the arts category, of The British Inspiration Award. He was Knighted in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List in January 2016.

Lord of the Flies
State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season: 5 – 9 April 2017
Information and Bookings: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au

Image: Arts Centre Melbourne presents Lord of the Flies (supplied)