“We’re not savages, you know.”

Over recent weeks, a strange shape has appeared in the maintenance yard at school. Was it a tombola stand for the Minster Fete? A bar for the WSPA ball? The production of Lord of the Flies in TA Hall answered the question – it was the fuselage of a crashed aircraft, littered with luggage.

As one of the highlights of our inaugural Summer Festival, this production really made its mark. The set filled TA Hall, with the aircraft at one end and the mountain camp at the other, both liberally covered in camouflage netting to represent the jungle. Between them stretched the sand, but the metaphorical gap between the order of Ralph and Piggy, and the anarchy of Jack and Roger, was far greater. Lily Moss was a stand-out as Piggy, talking absolute sense but struggling to be heard over the populist hectoring of Jack, played with a cruel confidence by Tabby Sapwell. Isis Strange brought forlorn hope to the character of Ralph, desperately trying to keep a sense of order on the island but ultimately failing. Her authority only returned when the outside world finally arrived with a cameo from Mr Luker, our new librarian, as the navel officer.

The secondary roles did not disappoint with Alfie Crinion showing a worryingly vicious streak as Jack’s right hand man, Roger. Bella Aziegbe portrayed Simon with exactly the right amount of ethereal thoughtfulness.

There were some tremendous set pieces, where the cast suddenly doubled in size for choreographed hunts and fights, filling the stage with slow-motion violence. As for the amount of stage blood used, well, I think this production would give Macbeth a run for its money!

There were a few first night hiccups but they did not detract from the drama and, overall, this was an assured production of a complex text. Praise must go to the direction by both Mrs Harris and Rebecca Shepherd (Y10) as well as the atmospheric lighting, organised by OV, Jamie Baker.

Jack’s line that “We’re not savages, you know” is shown to be wrong as many of the boys abandon their humanity but we must take comfort from Ralph’s final tears as he cradles Piggy’s glasses and recognises what they have all lost.

Mr J Robertson