There are so many reasons to get excited about the Australian premiere of Lord of the Flies – a dance adaptation of William Golding's 1954 Nobel Prize-winning novel coming to Arts Centre Melbourne in April 2017.
First and foremost, there's the man behind it: Sir Matthew Bourne. Over the past three decades, the British choreography and director has won a swag of Olivier and Tony awards, directed dance in musicals, opera, theatre and film and created the world's longest-running ballet production. In April next year, Bourne will bring his enthralling, chilling adaptation of Lord of the Flies to Melbourne.
Which leads us to the second big reason to lock this in your diary: the performers on stage. Bringing the story to life will be professional dancers from Bourne's New Adventures dance company and professional dancers from Australia – but in addition, boys and young men from Victoria, who will be chosen from a large-scale community outreach program.
It's a hugely ambitious project, and one that seeks to change the way that the community sees contemporary dance – and in particular, dance as an activity for young men and boys.
And the third reason? Lord of the Flies is a masterpiece. For those who've never read the novel or seen the 1990 film, the story follows a group of schoolboys who find themselves stranded on an island after their plane goes down over a tropical island. Soon, societal rules are stripped away and the group dynamic begins to degenerate. It's a chilling portrayal of loss of innocence and the wildness that lives just behind our veneer of civilisation.