Pig at the New Diorama Theatre
Pig tells the story of law and order in contemporary Britain “from both sides of the thin blue line”. It was written by Alex Oates from interviews with both police and convicts.
Now, that might sound like every other try-hard, edgy play out there, but the talent that seeps from Oates’ script really sets it apart. The dialogue trips along like a beat poem, rhyming and assonating with timing that is skilfully delivered by the cast and excellently directed by Alex Mitchell. The line direction is near-perfect and what could easily have turned into a talking-heads black box affair is kinetic and full of energy, thanks to Mitchell and his team. There isn’t a stand-out member of the cast: James Stayner, Matthew May and Alice Beaumont are each as good as the next. The characters are well developed and full of heart, but the story is a little predictable.
The design is remarkable. Adam Foley’s deceptively complex lighting artfully complements the storytelling. The set does a great job of utilising the resources available, comprised of a dais surrounded by boxes and boxes of case files, stacked on shelves that are movable and climbable. Each box had its own multi-coloured light inside it. The result is an ever-shifting feast for the eyes that never bores and certainly doesn’t feel like a black box.
All of this is topped off by live music composed and performed by Gary Cameron. The melodies are mostly simple tension-building incidentals, but they are tight and executed with attention and timing seldom found in musicals. It would be almost impossible to achieve the same effect with pre-recorded music, although some of the audience are fooled; there isn’t a bum note to be heard.
Despite all this, the production lacks the extra magic that really sets an audience buzzing. For a first time out in London, Pig is full of promise. It will be exciting to see what the Hull-based Silent Uproar Productions, as well as each of their members individually, do next.
Pig is at the New Diorama Theatre from 15th until 19th September 2015, for further information or to book visit here.