Theatre Review: Lord Of The Flies opens the season at Regent’s Park

A wrecked aircraft fuselage creates a stunningly visual setting for this outdoor staging of LORD OF THE FLIES in Regent’s Park.

There can be few more pleasant ways to spend a summer evening in London than at the Regents Park Open Air Theatre.

Built in the 1930s, Britain’s only permanent outdoor amphitheatre can hold more than 1,200 people, but the atmosphere always seems intimate as the crowd tuck into picnics and wine while the blue sky softens into silky twilight.

This year’s summer season has got going in style with Nigel Williams’ adaptation of the William Golding classic Lord Of The Flies. For those, like me, who didn’t study the book at school, Lord Of The Flies tells the story of a group of schoolboys who crash land on a tropical island during World War II. As the chances of rescue diminish, and with no adults around, the children split into two groups - one desperately clinging to sense of order, the other descending into anarchy and bloodlust. Predictably, it all ends in tears as the audience juggles ideas about the intrinsic nature of human beings.

The first thing to say about this production is the set design is stunning - the wrecked aircraft fuselage dominates the stage and crash debris, from school bags to lap tops, is strewn all the way up into the trees. Secondly, the young cast deliver a series of powerful performances, bestowing the audience with a sense of unease as the tale builds to it’s inevitable climax. This effect is exacerbated as the natural light fades and the floodlights come on. Not be missed - whether you swotted the book or not.

* Showing at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park, Inner Circle, NW1, until Saturday, June 18.