Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pig Stew- People's Theatre Newcastle

Pig Stew
People's Theatre
Newcastle Upon Tyne
17 November 2010

Ah, the rumble and grumble of family, always only a phone call or a text message away from certain disaster in the 'boiling cauldron pot' of life. It is getting to the time of the year when differences and spat's should be put on hold for a bit of harmony....well it sounds good on paper anyway.!
I don't think Louise, Denise or Juliet could ever put anything aside, even after the death of their father. Rivalries and pecking order, jealously and hatred for one another come to blow in this darkly comical tale of greed and mind games.
Set in a Northumberland farm, Pig Stew is a take on the children's classic 'the three little pigs' with each vying for supremacy. This was prevalent tonight with the feuding sisters (all with stories to tell, from saving orangutan's, to the trouble and strife it is to be a Newcastle United footballer's wife (very topical!)) fighting over inheritance monies and who would be the top dog...or pig !
Enclosed in the intimate setting of the upstairs studio at People's, you get a fantastic feeling for the reality of it all, the coffee table could be could the emotions, and plenty of them were on show tonight.
A 'Mr Fox' added to the realism of the play, by feeding off each pig (sister) for his own needs and greed.
Fiona Veitch Smith
Lots of contemporary twists and turns kept us on our toes, and with great theatre of this ilk, we didn't know the outcome until the last words were uttered. That is great writing prowess too. Fiona Veitch Smith's script for this People's play winner of 2010 was fresh and punchy and left me wanting more.
Sarah McLane's direction was superb as each character having a monologue bringing the past and morphing it into the present, this told us a lot about why the sisters were so fractious with each other. It was moments like these when the lighting and sound had to be spot on, and from where I was sitting it was.
The brilliant Jo Kelly played the harassed Louise so well that I wanted to give her a massive cuddle and tell her that everything would be ok! She was instrumental in the success of this play and the actresses Melanie Dagg, who played Denise and Amy Nicol who played Juliet were brilliant alongside her. Stuart Laidler, was scary and very convincing as the menacing Mr Fox.
Pig Stew was a very enjoyable and entertaining play, and well worth a night out.
Pig Stew is playing until November 20th at 7.30 pm

Michael Hunter

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