Fiona Duff: Drama helps explain world’s crisis

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‘Oh,” my youngest child said last week, “we should go and see Lord of the Flies when it is at Festival Theatre.”

My reply was, of course, “Why?” considering she has never shown much interest in going to the theatre. Apparently she is studying the book for an exam next year and had heard that some of her classmates were going. No doubt there was a general assumption amongst them that by seeing the play they may not have to read the book too carefully. More time to post rubbish on Instagram.

Then I remembered a conversation we had about it; oddly enough, I had studied it as a course book albeit a few decades ago. I said that I could recall a character called Piggy and told her that it was a reflection on society. And then I had gone back to watching Coronation Street, promptly forgetting the exchange that had just taken place.

During the interval of this great production (on until tomorrow evening so get your skates on if you want to go) she said that her teacher had asked the class what the book really concerned. Various answers were proferred, then my girl piped up with “society”. It was one of the few “well done” responses she has ever had in English. So there you go, maybe I’m not such a bad mother after all.

I’m sure that the many female English and drama students in the audience were admiring the fit young boys on stage, all of whom played their roles brilliantly. However, as it continued, I realised how relevant it was to the present and recent history. Exactly how Isis, Nazi Germany and Mao’s China manage to persuade so many people to follow their ruthless doctrines are explained in awful simplicity.

The breakdown of order is too ghastly to contemplate. Without benign democratic leadership there is only fear and hatred to control the human race without it falling into utter chaos.

Which reminds me – I must match all those socks otherwise who knows what anarchy might emerge in my home.