We weren’t expecting much. Not only was EatMyBox a brand new production company, but Lord Of The Flies, right, was its first play, and this was opening night.
Choosing the al fresco setting of the Oxford Castle Mound in April, surprise, surprise it also rained and the play had to be hurriedly rejigged inside in a very unassuming square room with some twigs for authenticity.
And yet, what unfolded before us had more energy, immediacy and dynamism than any show I’ve seen on stage.
The intimacy of the scenes was overwhelming and, as the audience were sat around three sides of the room and could almost touch the cast throughout, this somehow involved us in their nightmare.
The Lord Of The Flies story is well known – 10 schoolboys marooned on a desert island try to rule themselves, while bringing out all the darkest human complexities and waving them in front of us.
The simmering violence was tangible and we were also forced to decide what we’d do and weigh up the consequences of civilisation versus savagery. Whose side would you take – Jack the hunter/gatherer /murderer or Ralph the English chap who tried to do the decent thing and failed miserably?
I took my two boys who are reading the text at school and they had to move places they were so overwhelmed. This was a play they will never forget. If EatMyBox’s aim is to bring theatre alive, it has succeeded absolutely. A must see before it ends this weekend.