'Disco Pigs': Creepy, codependent teens' twisted road to adulthood
Throw a rock and one is bound to hit a project by the prolific Irish writer Enda Walsh. The Dublin native recently won a Tony for the book...
Special to The Seattle Times
'Disco Pigs'By Enda Walsh, through Oct. 6 at the Ballard Underground, 2220 N.W. Market St., lower level, Seattle; $10-$15. (800-838-3006 or www.brownpapertickets.com).
Throw a rock and one is bound to hit a project by the prolific Irish writer Enda Walsh. The Dublin native recently won a Tony for the book of the Broadway musical "Once," scripted two Cannes Film Festival award winners ("Hunger," "Chatroom"), wrote a new play for London's Bush Theatre and has three screenplays in the works.
Walsh's 1996 breakthrough stage piece, the startling "Disco Pigs," literally hits the ground running in Sound Theatre Company's alternately intense and tender new production. A two-hander set in Ireland's Cork with an extreme, even alien, take on adolescent narcissism, "Disco Pigs" is the story of a blurry love between two teens that turns explosive as the kids inevitably grow up and apart.
Richard Schaefer's playful yet unnerving set full of oversized toys for preschool children — lettered blocks, an enormous Tinker Toy structure — suggests a circumscribed world insulated from reality. Indeed, the two characters who reside there, Pig (Fox Rain Matthews) and Runt (Alyssa Kay), have known one another since their simultaneous births by mothers who are also neighbors. The kids grew up, essentially, as fraternal twins captivated only by each other.
Now, at 17, Pig is sexually drawn to Runt just when Runt is becoming interested in more than Pig. Hints of growing tension in the duo's sometimes pathological bond — long-sustained, in part, by a violent disdain for outsiders — slowly gather to a stunning climax.
But along the way, Matthews, Kay and director Gianni Truzzi explore the electrifying bizarreness of Pig and Runt's self-mythology with mesmerizing energy matched by delicate insight. Though the characters race around like toddlers, speak in a weird glossolalia of their own making and bully others in (real or imagined) discos, they are also occasionally hushed by self-consciousness over shifting, conflicting desires. You feel for Pig and Runt, but you don't want to get close. Not that they'd let you.
Tom Keogh: firstname.lastname@example.org