Lord of the Flies at Groundlings Theatre, Portsmouth

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Groundlings Theatre Company brings William Golding’s captivating, dystopian tale to life with great aplomb.

The story focuses on a group of schoolboys who, having survived a plane crash, are marooned on an island. Despite good intentions, they soon descend into savagery, with horrific consequences.

One of the ‘big-uns’, Ralph, earnestly portrayed by Joe Pope, is optimistic about being rescued and is appointed chief but this does not sit well with Jack – another assured performance by Jay Beaumont - who desperately wants respect.

One of many highlights are Sam and Eric, two of the ‘little-uns’, who provide unfaltering enthusiasm and energy and are convincing as two boys swept up in the commotion on the island.

The wild, fortress-like set allows the boys ample scampering space and the younger actors seem to relish clambering around.

Director Richard Stride creates strong, symbolic imagery encapsulating the group’s dynamics. There is a striking moment involving group outcast Piggy, affectionately played by Nathan Collins. As events unfold and lines between human nature and morality become blurred, the tension builds towards a beautifully solemn conclusion.

It’s a brilliant, exhilaratingly raucous production not to be missed, and there are performances on November 10 and 11.