AS the sun beats down on the golden sands of a tropical island, a group of schoolboys dance and shout, clothes torn, blood smeared on their faces, spears raised high above their heads.

All around them order has descended into chaos, and their behaviour has spiralled out of control, with disastrous consequences.

William Golding’s The Lord of the Flies, is vividly brought to life by Stage ‘65, Salisbury’s youth theatre group, who can be very proud of their excellent performance.

The actors assume their roles with ease and look comfortable in the spotlight as they scamper around the stage in ragged school uniforms, barefoot and bright-eyed.

It is an intense, energetic performance as the characters give us a glimpse of what horrors well brought-up British boys might be capable of given the right circumstances.

The cast is chosen well, each character instantly recognisable to those who have read the book.

While the whole cast is strong, special mention must go to Fraser Adams whose portrayal of Maurice is brilliant, bringing humour at times to what is, on the whole, a rather gruesome story.

The lighting and visual effects help to make the most of the space, offering an extra dimension to the production, while the sound effects create an eerie and unnerving atmosphere throughout.

Overall a fantastic production which is thoroughly enjoyable, although perhaps not for the fainthearted.

Until Saturday.

Joe Riddle