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This has been quite a journey - Frantic and exhilarating! We have tackled pieces such as The Crucible, The Caucasian Chalk Circle and Romeo and Juliet in recent years at Frome College. Deciding on what to stage next led to some interesting ideas but Lord of the Flies kept resurfacing. Its gritty narrative, the focus on the turbulence of adolescence, and the exploration of the human condition is as relevant now as ever. Ultimately, the commentary on how we treat one another and how power is often best in the hands of those who least want it, is an interesting mirror to our current world.

Perhaps there’s a bit of Ralph, Piggy and even Jac in all of us. And perhaps it is good to think about which of these we should be more like…

Kerry Tarrant & Claudia Pepler, the show Directors, said: “How do you make a play written in the 1950s for a male only cast relevant for a 21st Century audience? This was one of the questions that challenged us from the very beginning of the process. We decided early on that we would stage the play in our contemporary time. In our version, the modern day students are on their way to a residential school trip, when their plane is caught in the middle of an overseas conflict. We were resolute that we wouldn’t have girls playing male roles, but instead changed some of the characters to become female. Thus, Jack becomes Jacqueline, Roger becomes Geri, and Piggy also is played as a female role among others. This instantly changed the dynamic of the piece and made it much more current and interesting. Instead of simple rivalry, the conflict between Ralph, Piggy and Jac, takes on a more complicated twist. Jealousy and attraction adds an unexpected fissure to the mix.

The play's dark and universal themes are not always easy to watch, but its message endures. How would we behave if all of the rules of society are withdrawn? What would we cling to and what would we abandon? The students rose to the challenges this work has posed, and their commitment and talent shone through.”

No production happens without a team. Firstly, I would like to thank Kerry Tarrant and Claudia Pepler, for their unwavering drive and vision in directing this play. The dedication they have shown to the cast and the College has, once again, gone way beyond the call of duty - thank you. There has also been an exceptional wider crew who have contributed invaluably to this staging of Lord of the Flies, and I want to thank these people too.

The lights, sound and stage management was all executed by students. In the current heatwave, the theatre was hot, but the performance was sizzling. To all who have volunteered time to support us, for whatever large or small contribution you have made, thank you!

It is hard being a teenager and it is easy to forget that sometimes. Having had the opportunity to spend time with the cast in recent weeks, I can honestly say what a privilege it has been. To you, the performers, you are stunning – talented, and eager, and great fun to be around! Thanks for putting in such a colossal effort! Whether you are now leaving for university, another college or returning to Frome College in September, I wish you a fabulous summer and future. It seems fitting to finish with the wisdom of William Golding himself: “The thing is---fear can't hold you any more than a dream...”

Andrew Nicholls, Producer and Head of Faculty Expressive Arts

© Chris Bailey Photography
 

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