I must admit, it was the presence of Harry Potter’s Evanna Lynch that drew me to the 20th anniversary production of Enda Walsh’s Disco Pigs. She’s chosen a challenging play for her West End debut – the two-hander is a complex piece and, performed on a near-empty Trafalgar Studios 2 stage, there’s nowhere to hide.
The play is about two teenagers, known to one another as Pig and Runt, who are born on the same day and grow up next to each other. They develop a intensely close friendship with their own language and a somewhat disturbing mutual dependency. It begins in a Beckettian fashion as the pair recount being born, but as they grow up their inner world becomes more and more worrying and their adventures, as they explore the neighbourhood and go disco dancing, are shown to have a dark side.
The language is rich, hard to follow at first but once you get into the rhythm you can follow what is going on even if you don’t understand every word. It’s an intensely physical play, and both Lynch and her co-star, Colin Campbell, give it their all. They are both excellent and entirely convincing.
Set in the nineties, there’s a great soundtrack and some entertaining dancing – which means that when things get darker it’s all the more shocking. Almost inevitably, the pair begin to grow apart, with Lynch’s Runt coming to the realisation that she wants more from life. As events move towards their tragic conclusion it’s impossible not to root for her, even as you sympathise with Campbell’s Pig, who comes to realise Runt is growing away from him.
The play is fairly short but manages to pack a punch. Despite the Nineties setting it’s certainly not old-fashioned and it still feels fresh. I don’t think I expected to enjoy it as much as I did, but my verdict is positive.