Criminal duo's teenage rampage returns to the stage
Enda Walsh's classic play has always seemed like a perverse Irish version of Cocteau's Les Enfants Terribles for the nineties. Best friends Pig (Ciaran Owens) and Runt (Amy Molloy) are born within seconds of each other and, as they demonstrate with dolls, are seemingly inseparable. Together, they create merry anarchy in their own fantasy world, speaking in half-gibberish code. Chloe Lamford's witty set design, like Blue Peter in a squat, with shop dummies and spray painted duvet covers, certainly evokes childhood undone, as the pair turn seventeen and riot through the town. But their close relationship proves to be their undoing.
For all the energy, toys and dance anthems, though, true anarchy or danger is missing from Cathal Cleary's production. Owens and Molloy lack the occasional unnerving stillness of Pig and Runt, which makes their acts so terrifying – there are no scenes that possess the capricious nature of smiling psychopaths: they simply seem like impish miscreants drinking cheap cider in any city centre. There are sound problems, too – Walsh's inventive dialogue becomes incoherent beneath the musical soundtrack. Yet despite these weaknesses, Walsh's script remains a formidable satire on Irish societal disarray, where parents are ineffectual and damaged youth is ubiquitous.
Disco Pigs in touring until Sat 29 Oct. Reviewed at Tron Theatre, Glasgow.