Pig mask photo: Tanja-Tiziana
PIG delves into aspects of life that are frequently venal, unpleasant, disturbing and downright tragic. Luc and Taylor meet online, Stevie and Joe get married in a Civil Partnership, and Pig and Knife are two rent boys exploring their death wish. A play that depicts violent sex and sexual violence, PIG is about punishment, redemption, ownership and sacrifice, self-harm and death-wish, role-play and fantasy, and the eroticism of violence and of HIV-Aids.
As a moving and unsentimental exploration of love and identity, it ventures into unexplored theatrical territory via its themes of love, obsession, dependency and addiction, and reappraises attitudes toward the straight mainstream in general and the advent of civil partnerships in particular. A fierce, brave piece which moves romantic ideal and addictive hell so close together as to be tragically imperceptible. This original and heartfelt play raises gay theatre out of its narrow world and asks the questions that everyone asks who has ever loved another.
As well as the original full production at Buddies In Bad Times (Toronto, 2013), Pig has had the following readings and workshops:
– RADA, produced by Lloyd Trott, directed by Michael Longhurst, 2009
– Oval House, hosted Ben Evans, directed by Hanna Berrigan, 2010
– Factory Theatre Company, London, directed by Federay Holmes, 2011
– Steppenwolf Garage Theatre, Chicago, directed by Derek Bertelsen, 2011
– The Vaults, London, directed by Sarah Meadows, 2017
Tim Luscombe talks about the play
Board member, academic, and general good-person-to-talk-to-about-theatre Paul Halferty sat down Tim Luscombe for a conversation about writing, sex, death, audience expectations, hook-ups, and pretty much everything else. Video interview, audio inteview and much more Buddies In Bad Times Theatre
This is a video made by Buddies in Bad Times Theatre who produced the play in 2013, and includes rehearsal shots and interviews with the cast etc
The material is gay-specific – though it would resonate with any human being who can handle the explicit gay sexuality – and incessantly thoughtprovoking. Those arriving expecting shock value won’t be disappointed when they find themselves having to think – and flinch – on seeing their own dark hearts reflected.
Much has been made of the shocking and daring nature of Pig, but it should also be noted that it has moments that are excruciatingly funny. Playwright Tim Luscombe weaves words into a heightened poetry of scatological brilliance and the resulting laughs are those lacerating ones where one is forced to confront one’s own foibles.
There should also be no question that Pig is a highly literary piece, sumptuously written, dealing with subject matter that could be considered shocking, but is really just ahead of its time.
The language is hard hitting, grotesque and breathtakingly poetic and elegant
all at the same time.
Formidable, elegant, unexpected, beautiful.
You will not come out of the play uninvolved. Tim Luscombe in Pig is Sarah Kane x 2. I thought it was stunning.
A play that keeps an unrelenting focus on the dark side of gay life while spinning a fable that has the ugly slice of a knacker’s knife, the force of a grenade, and the allure of intriguing, unsettling nightmarish reality.
An urgent, sometimes hysterical rebuke to what is normally considered gay theatre. Luscombe’s play refuses the sentimentality of the conventional gay play – an As Is or The Normal Heart, for instance – as it keeps its harsh gaze on males in civil and uncivil relationships. Pig is about piling destruction and death on desire and despair. It is in revolt against generally accepted norms of morality and sexuality as decreed by establishment society.
It is admirable for throwing dignity to the winds and for challenging an audience to accept it on its own terms as it gazes into the depths of human hell without any promise of heaven.