Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.
Lord of the Flies
Director Blake Robison has worked closely with scenic and lighting designer Kevin Rigdon to create an uninhabited island out of the abstract elements of a simple ramp and open space downstage. The 11 cast members are seldom at rest, whether charging at a wild pig or cutting loose in frenzied dances choreographed by Kelly Mayfield.
The boys, survivors of a plane crash during a war, have been evacuated from British prep schools, and most wear school ties and jackets with crests. The exception is plump, bespectacled Piggy (Craig Pattison), whose jersey sets him apart from the others. (His name also provides a heavy-handed bit of foreshadowing.) Piggy allies himself with Ralph (the dynamic Alexander Strain), who wants to establish order on the island, while Jack (supercilious Evan Casey), a snidely superior school prefect and choir leader, tries to challenge Ralph for dominance.
The other characters tend to blur into each other, such as the twins Sam (Michael Grew) and Eric (Kyle Schliefer); Simon (Matt Farabee), whose hallucinations lead to trouble; and the younger Perceval (Sean McCoy). As staged by Robison and Mayfield, they are more impressive as a group than in smaller scenes.
One strength of Rigdon's production design is the innovative way he incorporates the realistic elements into this non-representational setting. A conch shell found on the beach has a dull, metallic sheen, and the illusion of fire erupts from pinpoint lights, projections, and stage fog.
Round House Theatre