When Sir Matthew Bourne’s production of Lord of the Fliespremiered in Glasgow in 2011, 15 local boys from disadvantaged communities took to the stage alongside eight professional dancers from Bourne’s company New Adventures. Not only had the Scottish lads not danced before, but most of them had never even set foot in a theatre previously, and for some it was a life-changing experience.

The production has since toured the UK, and everywhere it has been presented local boys have performed in it. Now, thanks to a large-scale, state-wide, grass-roots community outreach programme,23 young Victorians are being given the chance to do the same when Lord of the Fliesopens at Arts Centre Melbourne on April 5 for five performances. And if the reaction of their Scottish counterparts is anything to go by, they are in for a very special experience.

Matthew Bourne's Lord of the Flies Matthew Bourne’s Lord of the Flies. Photos © Helen Maybanks

During rehearsals in Glasgow, British newspaper The Independentspoke to a few of the young participants, including 13-year old Bruce Summers who said that he had previously thought “dance was the thing girls do”.

The only boy from...