Trafalgar Studios, London – until 19 August 2017
This 20th anniversary production of Enda Walsh’s play directed by John Haidar is chaotic and difficult to get into but beautifully builds up the tension to grip the audience.
Enda Walsh’s play is a bit of an oddity – it is both bizarrely brilliant but can also seem at times as a bit of a chaotic mess, but thankfully John Haidar’s production sticks to being bizarrely brilliant to keep the audience hooked throughout.
Pig and Runt have been friends since they were born and now on the brink of adulthood their friendship is about to be pushed to limits as Runt decides she wants a different future for herself and a little more freedom in comparison to Pig who wants to get their friendship even closer.
While on the surface, both characters are hyperactive and energetic, Haidar ensures that the threat of violence is never too far from the surface, gradually turning the screw on the friendship and highlighting the actual differences between the pair to great effect.
Of course much of the credit goes to Evanna Lynch as Runt and Colin Campbell as Pig, both literally throwing themselves with great energy into both parts. Lynch’s increasingly endearing Runt, really showcases the character’s increasing vulnerability and desire to make a decent life for herself that is mesmerising to watch. In contrast to this Campbell’s Pig although sweet in his devotion to Runt also has serious anger issues which lead to tragic consequences later on. His is a performance that is a nice balance between the two sides to the character that can’t always be easy to maintain. The bond and chemistry between the pair is undeniable.
Haidar’s production is certainly erratic and energetic from the very beginning which is very disorientating – particularly at the beginning that means some of the story can be missed. It needs to slow down a bit and make the most of the observations and stories that both characters share throughout as well as the very unique style of language that Walsh uses throughout.
Overall, Disco Pigs is compelling to watch as you are gradually pulled into Pig and Runt’s fantasy world and friendship that is almost uncomfortable to watch at times – particularly in the intimate setting of the Trafalgar Studios 2. Atmospheric and haunting, it will stay with you long after the final scene.