Critic’s Comments for Connor as Jack in ‘Lord of The Flies’

Program Notes: Training: The Urdang Academy, Theatre Includes: Closer to Heaven (Union), Television Includes: Wolfpack, One Direction Tribute, Commercials include: Talk Talk, Anti Bully Campaign, Music Videos include: David Lyre – Heartbeat, Consequences of the Kill, Modelling: StepnPull, Consequences of the Kill won the short film of the Year Award.

The Lowry Theatre – Salford, Manchester

Manchester Evening News – The cast were beyond fabulous, especially when we take into account their relative young ages. However, of particular note were the three main leads Ralph (Luke Ward-Wilkinson), Piggy (Anthony Roberts) and Jack (Connor Brabyn).

The young Antony Roberts deserves particular praise for his heart-breaking, and ultimately futile, final monologue.

While Luke Ward-Wilkinson’s portrayal of charismatic leader of men, slowly morphing into a tragic shadow of his former self was unbelievably moving. Both boys had an astounding chemistry on stage and their friendship felt natural.

However, in my opinion the standout performance was Connor Brabyn’s dark transformation from a saintly choir boy to a sinister tyrant and felt incredibly powerful. I expect we’ll be hearing a lot more from this trio of boys in the future.

Upstaged Manchester – Rating 5 Star – Particular mentions must go to Connor Brabyn as Jack, the savage chief of the gang and his rival – moral minded Ralph, played by Luke Ward-Wilkinson. Anthony Roberts’ performance as Piggy was also phenomenal

Manchester Theatre AwardsConnor Brabyn gives an impressive and measured performance as anarchist leader, Jack

There are some very good individual performances – Connor Brabyn, in particular, stepping up from understudy to be Jack – and Fellipe and Thiago Pigatto’s synchronized speaking as Samneric was perfect. Connor Brabyn’s terrifying Jack is very much a fascist leader-securing followers by directing their hatred towards minorities

Quays News – Rating 100% Awesome – Casting director Pippa Alison chose the perfect cast to Goldings tale; Ralph (Luke Ward-Wilkinson), Piggy (Anthony Roberts), Jack (Connor Brabyn)

Oldham Chronicle – Performances are strong, though. To sustain their level of energy across several performances a week for several weeks is no mean feat, and highly watchable are Connor Brabyn as Jack, the choir boy turned killer; Luke Ward-Wilkinson as Ralph, the boy who at least tries to maintain some semblance of humanity, and Anthony Roberts as Piggy, the most derided and hated and, of course, the most level-headed one of the bunch.

North West End – It was a very strong ensemble cast, all working extremely well together. Of course, the three main leads need to be absolutely brilliant in order for this play to work; and I am certain better actors could not have been found!  Luke Ward-Wilkinson, looking rather Daniel Radcliffe-esque, was a very worthy and convincing Ralph.  Connor Brabyn played Jack in this performance, and he was the embodiment of teenage evil. However, the award for best actor simply MUST go to Anthony Roberts for his interpretation of Piggy; the fat, myopic, goodie-goodie that every schoolboy picks on; here becoming a real, warm, believable and empathetic character and anti-hero. Bravo young man! And one further cast mention is necessary too

Sincerely Amy – Jack played by Connor Brabyn attempts to dominate the group with his brash persona, however his attempts are soon pushed aside which angers him, causing him to lead half of the boys astray into tribal savagery. His portrayal of the self righteous and superior character who believes his maturity overrules the others is superb

Bord Gais Energy Theatre – Dublin

Irish Mirror – Add to that the acting genius of the Regent’s Park Theatre cast and what unfolded on the Bord Gais Theatre stage was a gripping, disturbing and violently nightmarish rollercoaster ride into all-out savagery. And each and every member of the small yet extremely talented young cast deserves credit for their enthralling and entirely believable performances

Irish Times – With an energetic ensemble gradually peeling away from the sober leadership of Luke Ward-Wilkinson’s Ralph and his unpopular advisor Piggy (Anthony Roberts) towards the atavistic frenzy of Connor Brabyn’s hunter Jack

Entertainment ie Connor Brabyn is especially convincing as the obnoxious, boorish alpha male Jack.

Independent – As with much British theatre, class overtones are laid on with a trowel. Overweight Piggy (Anthony Roberts) sounds like an extra from Emmerdale while black-hearted head boy Jack (Connor Brabyn) seems to have parachuted in from the officers’ mess at Sandhurst.

Wycombe Swan – High Wycombe

Slough Observer Connor Brabyn electrifies the stage as the audience witness the bullish Jack sink deeper into malice and insanity. Honestly, I wish I could personally praise the whole cast!

Stage Review  – There are also standout turns by stand-in Connor Brabyn as Jack and Luke Ward-Wilkinson as Ralph who clash in their battle for leadership.

Bucks Free Press – Among an excellent cast the leads are impressive: Luke Ward-Wilkinson as Ralph, the voice of conscience and reason; Connor Brabyn as Jack, everyone’s nightmare of a self-promoting bully; and Anthony Roberts as Piggy

Get Bucks – Five out of five for the sensational Lord of the Flies – The three principal characters, Jack, played by understudy Connor Brabyn on the night I saw it, Ralph, played by Luke Ward-Wilkinson and Piggy, played by Anthony Roberts, were quite simply breathtaking. They were full of energy from start to finish and had you hooked on every word they said, they were born for these roles.

Other Comments (Twitter)

Grape Kiwi – Lord of the Flies may well be the most powerful theatre performance I have ever seen at Bord Gais Theatre in Dublin. One of the best stories ever written about the human condition. This stunning production did it every justice: capturing that hard-hitting, often heavy going, but always deeply poignant message throughout. Finished with the most moving standing ovation I’ve ever witnessed. The young lads must have put their whole hearts and souls into it. But what was most special was the young actors’ clear surprise at the reaction, and how humble and unabashedly excited they were too! Connor Brabyn and Lee Rae you lads blew my mind into tiny little pieces! Breathtaking performance (as you can see by my Twitter rant after)

Oliver Callan – Loved Lord of the Flies @BGETheatre tonight esp the superb menace of Connor Brabyn as Jack. Really great show. Not recommended for vegans.

Phan Of A Lot – Connor Brabyn Was completely amazed by the overall production of Lord Of The Flies tonight in Dublin! You were unbelievably outstanding!

Remy AnnaConnor Brabyn blown away last night by your performance along with the rest of the cast in Bord Gais Theatre, people are in for a treat