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Extracts from Introduction
to the stage version by Nigel Williams

'And did you enjoy being little savages?' said Sir William Golding to the cast of the King's School Wimbledon production of Lord of the Flies.

'Ye-eahh!' they said.

The thirty or forty small boys looked at him.  This was the autumn of 1992 and Bill had been forty years out of teaching. He was a Nobel prizewinner.   He had written what many (including me) think the greatest novel in English since the Second World War.  But he was still a schoolmaster and the kids knew class when they saw it.

'Er… no, sir…'
said one of them.

Bill grinned then.

'Well done!' he said.

With his white sailor's beard, canny expression and solid, physical grace, he didn't look at all like an author.  He looked as if he had just come back from a round-the-world sailing trip.  He had a peasant simplicity too - the aspect of a man who lives off the land and knows the value of things.

Bill Golding was, in spite of his great fame, not an arrogant man.   He was, in my brief experience of him, interested in people, not as fans or material, but because he thought of himself, not as a guru or a celebrity, but as one of them

…One of my main aims in adapting the novel was to try to realise the complexity of his intentions.  The way in which Golding uses myth and naturalism call for the kind of seriousness of theatrical language that has all but vanished from our stages.  When it appears it is usually howled down as pretentious or cried up as significant. What Golding's book as is a real knowledge of its subject - schoolboys - and a real conviction that they can represent more than the things they seem.   They are animated by an important debate about power, democracy and the good or evil that is within men's hearts, but they are also, all too vividly, real boys of the kind you might find in any prep school today, forty years after the book was written…

Nigel Williams, 1995


The first production of this adaptation of Lord of the Flies,
directed by Alan Dennis, was performed by King's College Junior School, Wimbledon, on 3 December 1991.

The first professional production of this adaptation
was first performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company
at The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, on 31 July 1995.
Director Elijah Moshinsky. Designer Chris Dyer.


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RSC Production Photographs John Haynes
Stage adaptation by Nigel Williams published by Faber and Faber
Performance rights Simpson Fox Associates/Robert Fox Ltd

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