Lord of the Flies

Lord of the FliesIn what promises to be the theatrical event of 2017, Arts Centre Melbourne is bringing Matthew Bourne’s production of Lord of the Flies to the State Theatre stage from 5 – 9 April.

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.

“This is the first time the Matthew Bourne’s Lord of the Flies will be seen outside of the UK, a testament to the international reputation of Arts Centre Melbourne and Victoria’s standing as a creative state,” said Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley. “The show will be even more than a must see production from one of the world’s most exciting choreographers. Through its extensive community outreach program, it will be an experience that will change the lives of many boys and young men across the state.”

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 deserted island to 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.

Following the outreach program across Victoria, up to 24 boys and young men will be invited to take up residence at Arts Centre Melbourne to join the ground-breaking professional production. A unique opportunity for Victorian-based boys and young men to work with both Australian and international professional dancers, choreographers and designers, the ambitions of this production are to change perception of dance as an activity for boys and young men, nurture young people and help discover the next generation of dancers and choreographers.

The workshops will be led by two Community Dance Artists, trained by the New Adventure & Re:Bourne team to facilitate fun and inspiring dance-theatre experiences. For the participants, these workshops will be extraordinary experiences in themselves, but those with the most potential (regardless of their background or experience) will be encouraged to deepen their involvement and audition to be part of the full production in early April 2017, forming the Young Ensemble and joining professional dancers from the UK and Australia.

Arts Centre Melbourne will work with over 25 community partners in Greater Melbourne and regional Victoria including youth support organisations, cultural organisations, sporting groups, health & community service providers, local councils, indigenous cultural and community groups, secondary schools and dance & physical theatre training institutions.

After the workshops, Arts Centre Melbourne will be maintaining connections with the boys who don’t go on to be part of the production, and will invite them to be part of future participation projects at Arts Centre Melbourne. A legacy fund will also be established that will financially support participating community groups to further dance and physical theatre opportunities for young people in their area.

“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 will be presented in the State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne from 5 – 9 April 2017. For more information, visit: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au for details.

Image: Arts Centre Melbourne will present Lord of the Flies in 2017 (supplied)