Tonight my friend Alice and I saw a play that was even scarier than last night's Presidential debate. It was Lord of the Flies, which was produced by Barrington Stage. Alice had read the book years ago and wanted to see the play; I had heard about the book and thought, 'Why not?'
Lord of the Flies began life as a novel by Nobel Prize winner William Golding, published in 1954. It has been adapted twice into films in English and once into Filipino.
It is the frightening story of a group of boys marooned on an island after their plane went down. It takes place during an imagined nuclear war and details how this group of young men go from prim English school boys to a mob of savage cannibals in an attempt to cope with their problems. One group separates itself from the others, begins to deck itself in war paint and in the blood of a slaughtered pig who they think is a deity; hence the title. They wind up killing two of the other boys. The situation is saved when a British officer from a warship comes ashore to rescue them. One word from him and they shape up into solid citizens. The murders are ignored. Stiff upper lip, and all that!
Giovanna Sardelli, the director, brought this to the stage in startling fury and mayhem.The splendid cast, headed by Richard Dent (left) as Ralph, Chris Dwan as Simon, Matthew Minor as Piggy, and John Evans Reese as Jack, turn the stage of Barrington Main Stage into a jungle of emotion, violence and murder.
The play, an allegory for mob rule, peer pressure, and probably the Nazi menace, is frightening in its fury. Not for the weak at heart.
Neither are Presidential debates.