It's a book that has been adapted for stage and screen many times since its 1954 publication, but it is a story that is much older than that.
There is a reason why William Golding's tale of a group of public schoolboys stranded on a desert island after a plane crash – and the microcosmic version of society that they subsequently form – still resonates today, 61 years after it was first published. But how does the Regent's Park Theatre touring adaptation of Lord of the Flies hold up?
The characters slip into their roles quickly as they attempt to establish some semblance of order in the absence of rules for the first time in their young lives. Contemporary references to Miley Cyrus, selfies and 'I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here' seem jarring and unnecessary, but perhaps a deliberate move by director Timothy Sheader to emphasis the relevance of the story in 2015.
It's true that there is only so much that Nigel Williams' adaptation of such a dense book can do within a limited running time, but Sheader's brisk direction does make things feel a little rushed at times. There is no clear sense that Simon, for example, is the sacrificial lamb that the source material portrays him to be, and perhaps more focus on him may have lent the overall story greater weight.
Still, Connor Brabyn is especially convincing as the obnoxious, boorish alpha male Jack, while twins Thiago and Fellipe Pigatto play like an unnerving, less annoying version of Jedward (yes, it's possible) as the group battle each other and the real or imagined 'beastie' in the woods. Anthony Roberts's Piggy is a little overcooked at times – forgive the pun – but the choreography and innovative use of the impressive set means that things are eventually brought to a stirringly frenetic conclusion.
An extra twenty minutes of character development may have made all the difference - but this production was nevertheless a fine, thought-provoking way to spend a couple of hours on a rainy Tuesday night.
Lord of the Flies runs at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre until November 28th.