Review: Pig by Silent Uproar

PigSilent Uproar are a Hull-based, New Diorama Emerging Company and, as such, presented their latest production Pig at the London venue in September 2015.

Pig is a clever title for a clever production. It’s a show about cops and robbers: Ted and Coral are jobbing cops, beat-bobbies who want to rise through the ranks and know all too well the downside of policing in the UK in the twenty-first century. Gaz is a likeable career criminal, who names his pet pigeon in hommage to the way in which the young hero of the Ken Loach film names his pet kestrel, hence the title of the piece.

The show intercuts both stories – Ted and Coral’s friendship, which falls foul of Ted’s honesty and Coral’s ambition, and Gaz’s progression through petty crime. It’s fun and light-hearted but also highlights serious issues caused by the box-ticking, target-meeting priorities forced on our police service.

The show is written by Alex Oates, who is a writer to look out for in the future. His voice is fresh and his dialogue is multi-layered poetry that carries you along on ripples of consonants, reminding me somewhat of Berkoff‘s writing. He needs to find more of a rhythm to make it truly musical, but it’s impressive stuff from one so young.

Matthew May as Gaz is charismatic and convincing as a young man whose background and personal hatred of garden gnomes sets him on a tragic path. Alice Beaumont as Coral weaves expertly through her character’s story of a young woman forced to make the difficult choice between friendship and ambition, and James Stanyer, as the honest and naïve Ted, gives a solid performance as the bobby we all recognise, wanting to do the right thing but realising that honest cops rarely make it very far when it comes to promotion.

Under Alex Mitchell’s capable direction, the show throws responsibility for its success well and truly on the shoulders of the actors, and treads confidently between the humour and seriousness of the piece. Pig is unusual but ultimately successful in its unique style, and marks Silent Uproar as a company to watch for the future.

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