Exploring the dark side of human nature

Saturday, 11 June 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A plane crashes on a deserted island. The only survivors are a group of school boys. They live in a land of bright exotic birds and dark blue seas, but at night their dreams are inhabited by a terrifying beast. Before long, this well behaved group has turned into a bloodthirsty and murderous tribe, this is the central plot of the Lord of the Flies.

Lord of the Flies, the Nobel Prize winning novel of William Golding, explores the dark side of humanity, the savagery that underlies even the most civilized human beings. Golding intended this novel as a tragic parody of children's adventure tales, illustrating humankind's intrinsic evil nature through following the series of events that unfold as a group of young boys attempt to survive in an uncivilized, unsupervised and isolated environment.

To be performed for the first time in Sri Lanka, the English Drama Society of Royal College brings to the stage the adaptation of this world renowned tale of the conflict between humanity and man’s inner demons. Sajith Amendra, a past thespian of Royal College and of ‘Othello’, ‘Well Mudaliyar’ and ‘An Enemy of the People’ fame, directs the cast of 11 young actors who bring this story to life.

In the midst of a war, a group of boys, between the ages of 6 and 15, find themselves stranded without adult supervision on a tropical island. Initially, the boys attempt to form a culture similar to the one they left behind by electing a leader, Ralph, and establishing rules. A major challenge to this organized and structured existence is the antagonist in the play, Jack- an aggressive, authoritative boy who also wants to lead. He lures away the other boys with the promise of hunting and adventure, activities which symbolize violence and evil.

The conflict between the two leaders- and the forces of savagery and civilization that they represent- is exacerbated by the boys' literal fear of a mythical beast roaming the island.

What happens when the vestiges of ordered, civilized existence disintegrates and the most primal nature of man is released of its shackles? How does humanity react when they are gripped by primal, numbing fear that threatens their very lives? In what manner does authoritarian rule triumph over the powers of democracy in times of anarchy and chaos? These are the questions that we ask ourselves as this poignant story of little lost boys unfolds. It is a journey of soul searching and seeking self awareness in order to tame our most savage instincts.

The suspense and brutality comes to life on the 17, 18 and 19 June at the Namel Malini Punchi Theatre from 7.30 p.m onwards. Tickets will be available at the venue.