Box City Theatre Company @ Gluttony (The Bally)
8:30pm, Wed 23 Feb 2011
I loved Box Car Theatre’s Inanimate Eats Rage last year – it was a wonderful maelstrom of noise and humour and violence that had a real heart. So when writer/director Malcolm Sutton sent me press details about Snout, Box Car’s new production… well, I felt chuffed and excited.
We arrived at The Bally just in the nick of time this evening, and were only just able to sneak into our seats at the back of a two-thirds full venue and note the overalls-wearing, snout-sprouting guitarist to the left of the stage who provided (gorgeous) aural texture throughout the performance. The lights dropped, and suddenly we were surrounded by a discordant choir of piggy snorting as the cast scuttled around the tent noisily.
Spotlights pick out a pink pig, a blue pig – and a brash tale that touches on racism, corporate greed, and… ummm… probably other stuff. As with Inanimate Eats Rage, it’s very loud and shouty as our porcine protagonist battles genetically-modified peer pressure. There’s tons of pig puns and lots of anger.
But, unlike last year’s production, it just didn’t engage me as easily. Or, indeed, at all.
Despite the obvious effort put into the costumes – with silicon piggy adornments and lashings of body paint and garish overalls – there was no real opportunity to identify with any of the characters. The occasionally violent foray into animal slaughter was visually indiscernible from our unfortunate position, but it certainly sounded like a brutal and unfocused barrage.
And, unfortunately, the three words running around my head for most of the show were: “What the fuck?”
As previously mentioned, there were certainly some great aspects to Snout: the live guitar was fantastic, and the presentation was colourful and assured. But the content… well, if the production itself wasn’t confused, then I certainly was.