February 25, 2014

Fat Pig by Pangdemonium! 230214 (Matinee)

Boy meets girl. Girl meets boy. They fall in love and start dating. Couple gets judged because girl is fat.

Neil Labute's take on the standard love story is relevant, and simultaneously entertaining while also striking you in the emotional gut every so often. I really liked the premise, and the play certainly delivered in terms of controversiality, though it dipped at other points too. It's a play with a very simple message: if society doesn't approve of it, things are going to turn ugly. The message gets a little repetitive after a while though, and the office scenes started to drag after some time because they were basically the same scene with different lines and escalated emotions. Also, Carter was an annoying character. Charming yes, and with humourous input, but apart from being a douchebag had essentially zero redeeming qualities. But the other three characters were great, and the relationship between Tom and Helen really anchored the whole play together, staying believable and likeable, and had the whole audience rooting for them all the way through. Which led to the ending scene basically being one big bad tearjerker scene. It's a very up and down script, with the Helen/Tom scenes being very cute, yet realistically portraying a couple in love becoming a couple in doubt, and the office scenes ranging from the preposterous arguments to humour (which worked and fell flat sometimes).

I was impressed with the cast. This is the second time I'm seeing Gavin Yap onstage after W!ld Rice's Importance of Being Earnest and it was nice to see him play a multi-faceted character with all sorts of emotions onstage. You're really in two minds as to whether to like him or want to strangle him by the end of the play. Elizabeth Lazan and Zachary Ibrahim played their side characters wonderfully, embodying the roles to a T. Ibrahim's character didn't sit well with me, BUT I can totally see him acting out this sort of role for a living; he makes it look so effortless and natural. Lazan was a great up and down crazy bitch, so it was a little weird when she finally mellowed down at the end on the beach, and hard to believe she'd really moved on with Carter. Frances Lee was a very welcome new face to the theatre as well, and I really enjoyed her performance as Helen, which was very realistic, likeable and fresh. This is one rising star I hope to see more of in future productions, though I honestly wonder about the roles she can get cast in as a leading lady.Yup, Fat Pig's overarching themes reach out everywhere and fat people are still being discriminated against. But I really did like her acting and was crying buckets at her performance in the final scene.

Eucien Chia has stunned me once again with an unbelievably changeable and clever set that morphs from restaurant to office to beach, with so many pieces of pop up furniture hidden away. This man will never cease to amaze me and I hope, never cease to work on one of Pangdemonium's set design.

It's nowhere close to what Pangdemonium gave us with Rabbit Hole or Next to Normal, but it's a pretty decent play about an unconventional love story. Watch it if you are in or know of people who've been in unconventional non-society sanctioned relationships.

JustWatchLah Rating: 3.5/5


Anonymous said...

Eucien here... thanks for the kind words! Designing for Fat Pig was an enjoyable creative conundrum and I'm glad you liked the result. I'll be designing all three of Pangdemonium's shows this year, so I hope you've got your season ticket :)

KreeAter said...

Hi Eucien, thanks for dropping by the site! Your sets always leave me in awe, and yes, already got my season ticket :) Eagerly anticipating Pangdemonium's next show!