DISCO PIGS By Enda Walsh, directed by Autumn Smith (MacKenzieRo). At Alchemy Theatre (133 Tecumseth). To March 15. Pwyc-$15. Rating: NNNN
When Irish teens Pig (Richard Harte) and Runt (Cathy Murphy) burst onto the stage at the Alchemy Theatre in a fit of shits and giggles, you feel like you’ve landed in a scene from Trainspotting.
They speak a brogue-ish dialect so obscure it’s hard to understand, for one. Then there’s the dire shittiness of their surroundings. The frantically co-dependent boyfriend and girlfriend spend their days and nights downing pints at a pub and causing fights at the local disco in a working-class district of Cork.
As the modern-day Bonnie and Clyde take us on a 200-kph ride through Ireland’s dingy pubs and back alleys, a sweet and sinister coming-of-age story emerges, a story of wanting to escape your roots without quite knowing how.
Harte and Murphy give high-octane performances, spitting out playwright Enda Walsh’s poetic slang as if they’ve been speaking it since they were little "baby beebas."
Thankfully, director Autumn Smith knows how to balance these frenetic highs with more intimate scenes that show the tenderness these lager-loving louts have for each other. She also keeps the lighting and set design simple, a good decision given the larger-than-life performances.
Flashing coloured lights and cheesy disco anthems set up the grotty dance floor, while dappled blue light conjures up the seaside where the two lovers – now 17 – lie down for a moment in the sand.
One of MackenzieRo’s mandates is to return audiences to theatre as a heightened expression of community. Alchemy seats 60 max.
Hold onto your seats. Pub crawls don’t get much more intimate, or much messier, than this.