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Disco Pigs – Alma Tavern Theatre, Bristol

Writer: Enda Walsh

Director: Anna Simpson

Reviewer: Jacqui Onions

The Public Reviews Rating: ★★★☆☆

 

Disco Pigs is the first of four productions in the Directors’ Cuts season at the Alma Tavern Theatre; an annual showcase of the graduating MA directors from the Old Vic Theatre School. The play tells the story of two teenagers growing up in Cork in the mid nineties. Born on the same day, best friends Pig (played by Edmund Digby-Jones) and Runt (played by Faye Marsay) have always been able to rely on each other through their troubled childhood, and now on their seventeenth birthday they stare adulthood in the face together.

 

Digby-Jones and Marsay, both graduating actors of the Old Vic Theatre School, throw everything they have into their performance. They both bring a tremendous amount of energy to the piece and their characterisation is superb. Digby-Jones seems to struggle with the Irish accent and it is difficult to decipher some of his dialog, but the strength of his acting, complimentary facial expressions and at some points mime mean that none of the plot is missed and his performance is still highly enjoyable. Marsay is definitely the star of the piece and is a talent to watch out for in the future.

 

Under the clever direction of Anna Simpson, Digby-Jones and Marsay take the audience on a journey through Pork, the world of Pig and Runt. With virtually no set or props, just the subtlest of movement takes the audience in an instant into the bedroom of a teenager, the local pub or onto a bus.

 

An air of the nineties is maintained throughout with the effective use of music from the era. The decade’s club classics will bring a smile to the face of anyone that was a teenager in the nineties; Born Slippy, Fire Starter, Children, they are all there.

 

Everyone involved in this production is obviously giving 100% but the script just doesn’t measure up. Every attempt is made to make Pig and Runt as well rounded characters as is possible but the script glosses over the life experiences that have made them into the people they are so it is difficult to truly empathise with the characters, and the writing is not hard hitting or original enough to make their crimes shock the audience. The piece seems to want to emulate the likes of A Clockwork Orange or Trainspotting but falls short of the mark. A talented cast and crew that are better than the piece that they are putting on.

 

The Directors’ Cuts season runs until 26th May 2012.

 

About The Public Reviews

The Public Reviews was set up in 2007. We aim to review all professional types of theatre, whether that be Commercial, Repertory or Fringe as well as Comedy, Music, Gigs etc.