On Friday 14th August I went to Woodhouse Farm in Whittington to watch local events company Let Me In present a stage adaptation of William Golding’s iconic novel, Lord of the Flies. Though I was aware of the general plot, this show was pretty new to me and made the experience even more exciting.
Lord of the Flies follows the aftermath of a plane crash where a group of British boys are marooned on an island with no adults to enforce rules or civility. As you can imagine, tensions around power heighten as some of the children desire structure and others, freedom, which quickly curdles into savagery when the game goes too far.
Admission for this performance was free of charge with the option to donate if possible, which I would describe as very generous considering the current economic climate. It emphasised this company’s genuine enthusiasm for making the arts accessible which is refreshing and a pleasure to see.
The venue itself was simply a field behind a working farm, the noises from which provided a fitting backdrop to the outdoor setting of the show. This allowed for an immersive and absorbing experience as the audience felt like they too were on the island.
We were encouraged to bring our own seating and with the venue having a capacity of 80 people, it was possible for seating to be arranged in a socially distanced manner, in accordance with government guidelines.
This production, which was Let Me In’s fastest-selling production to date, was made up of an all-female cast. I am a massive cheerleader for female talent and this diversion from the original story facilitated a new and exciting dynamic. It is without bias or exaggeration that I say all of these women were unbelievable.
Charlie Ayres, who played Jack Merridew, stood out as an intimidating character that the audience watched go from an arrogant student to a primitive ‘chief.’ Another outstanding performance came from Grace Willis who took on the notorious character of Piggy, who, despite her pleas for morality and order, comes to an unfortunate end at the hands of the bullies of the story. The performance was captivating throughout, albeit morally disturbing at times, and I feel privileged to have witnessed their talent.
As if the acting wasn’t enough, my ears were blessed by several moments of musical interlude which powerfully represented changes in mood or the passing of time. This included cast members harmonising as well as playing instruments such as the piano, guitar and harp - a fantastically effective directorial decision.
For information on future performances, visit their website at letmeinpresents.co.uk. I can’t recommend them enough.