by Enda Walsh.
Young Vic (The Clare auditorium) 66 The Cut Waterloo SE1 8LZ To 24 September 2011.
Mon-Sat 7.45pm Mat Wed & Sat 2:45pm.
Runs 1hr 10min No interval.
TICKETS: 020 7922 2922.
Review: Mark Courtice 9 September.
Exciting production of theatrical, poetic, punky pig play.
Runt and Pig were born within seconds of each other in the same hospital in Irish town Pork (Cork). They have gone on to live as close as twins, fighting the world, drinking and dancing and having adventures like a trip to the seaside. Mawkish, however it ain’t. There’s scamming and cheating, and there’s a worm in the bud of their perfect friendship as the possibilities of sex in Pig’s case, and the charms of other friendships in Runt’s, become apparent.
The whole is told by the pair in clotted, dark poetry that transforms everyday things; sometimes into magic, sometimes into a potty-mouthed version of nursery talk. Walsh’s language is extraordinary, drunk on sound. Cathal Cleary’s production excitingly reflects this punk poetry in a junk-show aesthetic combined with good old-fashioned theatrical moments. Cleary is the winner of this year’s JMK prize, which gives the winner the wherewithal to produce a "classic" play – it’s an interesting take on that word that Walsh’s 1996 play qualifies.
Cleary qualifies as a prize-winning director however, and here shows his chops as everything is taken flat-out; the pair shout and dance about in a set of "found" chic, strewn with lights, and crummy furniture. The set’s very clever, the lighting’s hyperactive and Charlie Murphy as Runt gives a terrific performance. She combines a voice that sings and screams with equal abandon, mixing a matter-of-fact toughness and vulnerability. The moment at the end of the play when she starts to talk like the rest of us, is truly moving.
In Rory Fleck-Byrne’s Pig, the production’s one weakness shows. This performance cannot stand still, and vocally there’s not enough variation from the rant. Cleary and he could do with trusting the words, and Walsh’s playwrighting skill.
Runt Charlie Murphy.
Pig Rory Fleck-Byrne.
Director: Cathal Cleary.
Designer: Chloe Lamford.
Lighting: Anna Watson.
Sound: Tom Gibbons.