Disco Pigs

by Enda Walsh

reviewed by SHAUN TRAYNOR

Disco Pigs is a play about disaffected youth and has already gained a significant youth cult following in Cork (where the play originated) in Dublin and in Edinburgh where it recently played to good reviews. It is a hot ticket if you're under 25. So is it any good?

When a play quickly becomes a cult play it is not to be judged along normal critical lines, it has got through the electric fence of conventional criticism and somehow speaks out to its own following in a language and a tonal esperanto which only they fully understand; something private and pulsating is being communicated, it is a code; not that it entirely passed me by.

Disco Pigs is a poetic investigation of life from birth to 17 and it does have its own language, a kind of sub-Joycean, baby talk, each sentence a near incoherent attempt at meaning, Clockwork-Orange-speak but genuinely poetic and very moving. The bits about birth were crude and funny, the Odyssey to puberty and to 17 and clubs was meant to be sexy but was at times gratuitous and salacious; it was when the going got rough that the play began to achieve real depth.

The two life-long friends Pig and Runt, self-styled Bonnie and Clyde figures round the Cork disco scene, have a whale of a time getting stoned, getting drunk, stealing, fighting, until their luck runs out and a savage reality hits them, they see themselves as they truly are – at 17 on the scrapheap of life, more like middle-aged winos than teenie mayhem-seekers.

This is a play about the under-age, an under-class and it is beautifully observed and perfectly achieved.

The music (as one would expect from the title) is omnipresent and is pulsating, it almost leads the action at times. The sound design is by Cormac O'Connor and there is a CD of the soundtrack. The direction of the play by Pat Kiernan is spot on and the acting is superb, first by Cillian Murphy as Pig and then a mesmerising performance by Eileen Walsh as the runt. Very few actresses or actors have genuine stage presence, most have enough talent to present a fiction convincingly, Ms Walsh has real theatrical genius, she is the best I've seen.

This play is written by Enda Walsh and presented by his Cork based Corcadorca theatre company.

Four-letter words abound, be warned.

Value for money 10/10
Craic 10/10 (If you can take a club scene type play.)
Final Verdict Hardhitting, rhythmic expose of teenage nihilism

Runs until 27 Sept 1997 at The Bush Theatre, Shepherd's Bush Green