On 6th December, The Lowry’s Salford boys cast of Matthew Bourne’s Lord of the Flies, joined the cast from Liverpool Empire’s production and travelled to support the Bradford cast by watching them perform the show that has become a life changing experience for 280 young men across England and Scotland.
Lord of the Flies was a unique project by Re:Bourne, the charitable arm of Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures. They worked alongside 13 theatres to work on average with 500 boys to choose a final cast of approximately 22-24, some of which had never danced before, to perform in a professional dance production of this much loved story alongside dancers from Matthew Bourne’s company. The 13 casts played to sold out venues all across England and Scotland and received fantastic 5* reviews.
Following an enthusiastic standing ovation for the Bradford group from the Salford and Liverpool boys, the three casts joined together on stage for a fantastic celebration of the tour’s success, with a special ‘chant-off’, evoking a particularly dramatic moment in the performance where the boys have turned savage and are hunting their prey. It was a very special and emotional moment for the New Adventures Company to see the first, middle and last casts of the tour come together on the very final day of a show that has become their lives over the past year.
The Lowry is committed to providing progression opportunities for all the local boys involved in the project. This summer we established a male youth dance company, Commotions Boys, open to all boys across the region. Commotions Boys includes members of the cast as well as boys who took part in the Lord of the Flies outreach programme and other talented male dancers from across Salford and the North West. The company will be performing at various platforms across the region in 2015. We have also specifically offered our cast members four areas of engagement opportunities; creating work for performance, invitations to experience live performance or visual arts events, a workshop programme and development opportunities i.e skills development training, the chance to work towards an Arts Award qualification and mentorship and support in regards to progression route and career pathways.
We hope that we can build on the legacy of this amazing project to support male dancers from across Salford and the North West region to build a strong relationship with the arts and perhaps even see some of them back on The Lowry’s stages as professional performers in the years to come!