Directed by Sam Miller
Pros: Simple, effective, easy to ‘get’, thought-provoking, funny and stylishly executed.
Cons: I needed clarification on the plot in some places (but I’m not that bright, so…)
Our Verdict: Great stuff once again from this excellent young company. Worth every penny of the measly £10 cost.
|Courtesy of All The Pigs|
I know we’ve raved about All The Pigs before now: our review of Scooter Thomas was so gushy that I could understand people believing that we were directly associated with them in some way, or perhaps that our editor was sleeping with their producer. But alas, we’ve never met them; we just really enjoyed their last production.
Walking into their latest offering, once again being staged at the New Diorama, I was excited. However a part of me was expecting our love affair with them to end. We’ve only seen one production of theirs before, and whilst it gave us a great initial impression of them, one production isn’t enough for us to form a full opinion. An hour and a half later though, I walked out with my initial impression confirmed. All The Pigs produces simple, unpretentious, fresh and high-quality theatre. Weirdly, that is their unique selling point; they don’t try too hard to be different.
As with last time, we were treated to a short piece before the main event as part of their first time writers’ initiative. We saw a devised piece from Ami Stidolph and Sam Miller, which I gather was actually rehearsed at the last minute. It was very good: a short one woman monologue, delivered in a smooth and effective manner by Ami Stidolph. It was engaging, interesting and moving, I enjoyed it, and it lasted 10 minutes. Enough said.
So on to the main event. Jack Thorne’s Stacy is a monologue from Rob, a chap who likes to talk about himself. Take my advice on one thing: don’t take your parents to this one, it’s graphic. Very graphic in fact, and certainly not for the feint hearted. Rather disturbingly given the ending, Rob is a recognisable character. He talks to cover up his insecurities, he exhibits that style of mock modesty and self-deprecation which the sharper mind can see through, and he embellishes the truth lavishly. As the monologue progresses, things take a dark turn before we are left with what I thought was a rather ambiguous ending. A quick look at other write-ups for Stacy suggests that indeed people interpret the ending differently. What is for sure though, is that whatever your interpretation you leave the production with the sudden dawning of dark realisation as to Rob’s true identity.
This production is engaging, energetic and very funny in places. Tim Dorsett is the solo performer, and he produces a brilliant display from start to finish. His delivery of the part is crisp and clear, and he truly gets to grips with the character to create someone who you can actually associate with, which makes the ending all the more shocking. More importantly, he’s very funny, engaging with the audience in some places to the extent that you forget you are in a theatre; there’s no fourth wall here, it’s like sitting in a pub listening to a friend tell stories (mostly about their sexual exploits).
Dorsett’s only company on stage is a slide projector which flips back and forward between images of the other characters and one or two other things. Other than that it’s just Rob, a chair and a table. Simple but effective winning the day, as always. The projector helps to create the vivid imagery called for in Thorne’s script; the description of the death of the dog in Rob’s cul-de-sac home street sticks with you in particular.
Weaknesses? In places I lost track of what was happening. When you’re actually in a pub you can interrupt your friends and ask them to clarify things, but I felt that wouldn’t have been appropriate in the theatre. In addition, whilst I liked the ambiguous ending, it also irked me a bit because it was very ambiguous. And finally, whilst I was fine with the graphic images and description, some people will undoubtedly feel uncomfortable with it, so don’t go if you aren’t prepared to hear about sex. A lot.
All The Pigs are a great company, who have delivered a second fine production. Simple, fresh, innovative-but-not-too-innovative. They’re a group to watch. Two out of two ain’t bad.
Please feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!
Stacy runs at the New Diorama until 20th October 2012.
Box Office: 020 7383 9034 or book online at