The Flies was first produced in Paris in the summer of 1943.  The production ran at the Théâtre de la Cité.  Sartre had to get German censors to approve the play, because Paris was occupied by the German army.  A sculptor was employed to create "great blocks of stone", as well as settings, masks, and statues; large numbers of extras were also used.  During one of the rehearsals, a young man came up to Sartre and introduced himself; it turned out to be Albert Camus.  The production was poorly attended and got a lukewarm reception from critics.  Simone de Beauvoir's assessment of the play's effectiveness and reception was as follows: "It was impossible to mistake the play's implications; the word Liberty, dropped from Orestes' mouth, burst on us like a bomb. The German critic of Pariser Zeitung saw this very clearly, and said so, though at the same time taking the credit for giving the play a favorable notice. Michel Leiris praised The Flies in a clandestine edition of Les Lettres francaises , and emphasized its political significance. Most reviewers pretended not to have noticed any such allusion; they pitched into the play viciously, but, so they alleged, on purely literary grounds . . " 
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