First off let me say that the language in this is difficult at best to get through. And no, I don't mean coarse language (although there's plenty of that too) but the Irish accents and regional terms. Fortunately Sound Theatre Company's current production of "Disco Pigs" is being performed by two gifted actors who manage to wade through the accents and come out the other side with an engaging tale.
Written by Tony Award winner Enda Walsh, "Disco Pigs" follows two kids, Darren and Sinead (nicknamed Pig and Runt) born seconds apart and who live next door to each other all their lives. This closeness develops a bond between the two of them that borders on the unhealthy. But their friendship becomes even more troubled as they reach their 17th birthdays and Pig develops romantic attachments to Runt while Runt is beginning to gain the notice of another boy.
As I said, the show is a difficult one to get into. Not just because of the language but also due to the characters being so manic and angry that they become difficult to empathize with. But no one ever said theater was easy and if you can get through it, at its core the show is tragically beautiful.
Luckily the show is handled with aplomb by Fox Rain Matthews and Alyssa Kay as the troubled teens and helmed by director Gianni Truzzi. These three ensure that while you may not get every word, you definitely get the story. The arc they create for these two characters is a gorgeous one with a stunning end. I will admit that their arc may have had more impact if I had been able to empathize more but it is still powerful. Kay's final moments of grief are heartbreaking and Matthews's angry tirades are terrifying. And the two together create some sublime chemistry.
But even with the glossary of terms in the back of the program (and I do suggest taking a look at those), being non-Irish natives is certainly a hindrance to audiences of the show. So yes, this one definitely makes you work for it but the result is more than satisfying.
"Disco Pigs" from Sound Theatre Company performs at the Ballard Underground through October 6th. For tickets or information visit them online at www.soundtheatrecompany.org.
Photo credit: Allan Armstrong