Lord of the Flies at Groundlings Theatre, Portsmouth

Portsmouth Players in rehearsal for The Full Monty

Portsmouth Players dare to bare as they go The Full Monty at The Kings Theatre

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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.