Disco Pigs by Enda Walsh.
Smock Alley Theatre, 7 Lower Exchange Street, County Dublin. To 13 July.
Runs 55 mins, no interval.
Tickets: 00 3531 677 0014 www.smockalley.com
Review: Michael Paye 9 July 2012.
Energised and Intense.
DISCO PIGS, among many other things, is a play about the boredom and thrills of growing up. Lifelong friends Pig and Runt see the world through each other and feel safe in the reality which they create together. Neighbourhood troublemakers, their typical nights out involve getting into discos, stealing, and generally rampaging against a world in which they don’t fit. As Pig develops feelings for Runt, the dynamic in the relationship changes, as play-acting takes on another level for the young man, while Runt is no longer satisfied with her position in the litter.
Being a two person stage show, its frenetic pace requires a lot of energy, and both Fionn Walton and Gemma-Leah Devereux have that in buckets. Though inclined to overdo the violent energies of Pig, Walton is excellent overall. One particular moment, where the two young friends watch Baywatch together, sees Pig discuss his private emotional and sexual feelings in an intimate and intense soliloquy in which Walton brings out the genuine loving affection Pig has for Runt among his sexual desires. Devereux captures Runt’s complex desires successfully. Her character development is more organic than Walton’s, and although Pig is more inclined towards extremes of emotion than Runt, Walton could have toned down his earlier exuberance for a more intense climax to the performance.
But this is a small quibble in an otherwise solid theatre piece. The sound, particularly when going in and out of nightclubs, has that echoed depth and heavy base that you hear through walls beside clubs, and the set itself, though minimal, serves its purpose, including some very creative sea-imagery with a long sheet of plastic for one of Pig and Runt’s more touching moments.
Overall, this is a very good production, although it shies away from a development of the sexual tension between Runt and Pig through a lack of physicality which is not necessarily made up for by the two actors’ excellent handling of the intimate moments of friendship. Nonetheless, they bring vibrancy and clarity to youth’s impetuousness and the conflicting nature of forging your own identity.
Pig: Fionn Walton
Runt: Gemma-Leah Devereux
Director: Rosemary McKenna
Dramaturg: James Hickson
Lighting Design: Maggie Donovan
Sound Design: Osgar Dukes
Producers: Kate O’Sullivan and Caoimhe Connolly