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Shetland Arts is pleased to announce that Shetland Youth Theatre is to perform an adaptation of one of the best known novels of the 20th Century at the end of this month.  The young company, well known throughout Scotland and beyond for its innovative approach to the theatre experience, is presenting a stage version of Lord of the Flies.

Originally written by William Golding in 1954, the novel was adapted for the stage by Nigel Williams in 1991 and over the past twenty one years has been performed by professional and youth companies across the world.

The novel tells the story of a group of English public school boys marooned on a deserted island.  As time goes on, the veneer of respectability is gradually destroyed and what follows is a brutal battle for survival and power.  Both the novel and film versions in the 1963 and 1990 have enthralled and terrified people with their depictions of savage brutality and the cruelty that lies beneath the façade of a ‘civilized’ society.

The production has given the company an interesting problem to solve.  In the original material, all the characters are male.  Shetland Youth Theatre is an inclusive group with a majority of its members being young women.  According to the play’s Director, John Haswell, this has led to a fascinating discovery in the rehearsal process.  “We are not asking females to play male characters” he explained, “so many of the characters on the island are female.  This gives a completely new dimension to the piece, if anything making it even more shocking as it questions gender stereotypes.  Instead of being purely about class politics, our version now brings sexual politics into the frame and the piece is even stronger as a result.”

Perhaps surprisingly, considering some of the site specific work the company has undertaken recently, this production is being performed at the Garrison Theatre.  “It is an ideal piece for site specific work” said John Haswell, “and there is no deep, artistic reason for performing at the Garrison.  The truth is far more mundane.  A piece of outdoor theatre in the summer can be a chilly experience.  A similar event at the end of March would be challenging for everyone concerned.’” However that promises to be the only mundane thing about this production which, if past experience is anything to go by, will still challenge the audience with both its content and presentational style.

Lord of the Flies is being performed at 7.30pm from Thursday 29th March to Saturday 31st March. Tickets, priced £8 / £6 (concessions) can be bought from Shetland Box Office by calling 01595 745 555 or by clicking here or visiting

The show is recommended as being suitable for upper primary school aged children and above.


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