Before the first performance of Lord of the Flies, First Night hears from some of the student actors involved.

A new production of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, adapted by Nigel Williams, will take to the stage at Durham’s Gala Theatre tonight, running until Saturday 5th October. Directed by Annie Rigby, of Newcastle-based Unfolding Theatre, and designed by Andrew Stephenson, Lord of the Flies will be the first time the Gala has co-produced a play with DST.

A cast of ten talented DST members will take on William Golding’s modern classic, following a group of schoolchildren who become stranded on a desert island. At first, they celebrate their new found freedom and set about forging their own society, until splinter groups emerge and their attempts to govern themselves descend into savagery.

Durham County Council spoke to a few of the actors about their experiences in this production:

Cameron Ashplant (Ralph), a Human Geography student at University College, said: ‘Lord of the Flies is an amazing story with characters of great depth that still retain room for interpretation. Playing around with the characters has made the process extremely enjoyable and I’m excited to star in a show with such an incredible set. I feel lucky to be studying at Durham at a time where theatre collaborations are taking place and I will always appreciate this chance to work in the professional North East theatre scene.’

Martha Dean (Simon), a second-year Music student, noted how ‘I have thoroughly enjoyed rehearsing for Lord of the Flies in professional workspace and I cannot wait for show week to commence.’

John Broadhead (Piggy) studies Computer Science, and described how ‘This is a huge opportunity for me. I’m beyond excited – and fairly nervous – to be able to bring this famous role to life, and to hopefully do justice to one of the most important books published in the last century.’

Layla Chowdury (Jack), is an English and Education student, excited to be playing the arch villain in the show: ‘I am thrilled to be a part of the Lord of the Flies cast. This is such an exciting opportunity to portray a villainous character, which is something I rarely get to do.’

Robin Byers, Manager at the Gala Theatre, said: ‘I have been incredibly impressed by the talent and dedication these young actors have demonstrated during the rehearsals. Lord of the Flies looks set to be a powerful and enthralling production and builds upon the Gala’s reputation of producing high quality theatre here in County Durham.’

Tickets are still available for Lord of the Flies at this link:

Interviews for this article were taken from Durham County Council:

30th September 2019