Disco Pigs & Sucking Dublin – Smock Alley – Review

Disco Pigs & Sucking Dublin – Smock Alley – Review

4 – 16 Dec | 7:30pm | Boys’ School

This is a collection of two short plays by Reality: Check Productions. Both plays were written by Enda Walsh in the late 1990s, when he was starting to make his name as a writer. The original theatre production of Disco Pig starred Cillian Murphy and it was later turned into a film directed by Kirsten Sheridan in 2001. Sucking Dublin is the lesser known of the two and is about a group of young friends and drug users in Dublin. Both plays are about 45 minutes long with a short interval between.

Disco Pigs tells the story of Darren and Sinéad, better known as “Pig” and “Runt”. They were born seconds apart and have rarely been separated since. They have spent so long in each other’s company that they have developed a language all of their own. They live a life of drunken excess in Cork. Both are 17 and see life as an endless series of escapades and adventures. They have always dreamed of finding their way to the fabled Palace nightclub and one night they stumble upon it.

This is a two-hander with Ethan Dillon and Toni O’Rourke playing the parts of Pig and Runt. The play starts with the two actors chasing each other down the ramp which winds around the edge of the Boys’ School in Smock Alley. They are pumped and wild for adventure, dancing and shouting. This sets in motion this intense and lively production. Both actors embrace the parts and show great passion in their respective roles.

The second play Sucking Dublin tells the story of five very different individuals; Little Lamb, Amanda, Steve, Lep and Fat. We are introduced to them on the evening of Lamb’s 18th birthday party where they are having a wild celebration. The party is filled with the usual high jinks until Steve shocks the other members of the group. This is a more ambitious production with five cast members. It carries on in a similar vibrant and exuberant style as the earlier production but unfortunately never hits the heights. The cast do their best but this is not Walsh’s finest work and seems a little dated and derivative. It was written a few years after Trainspotting and has a similar style. However, it is not possible to tell the story of five people in a short play, so it is difficult to get under the skin of the characters. We instead get a view into their lives with a series of brief vignettes.

This is an enjoyable production from this young theatre company. The two plays are rarely performed and it is good to see some of Walsh’s earlier work on the stage. While Disco Pigs is the far stronger of the two, Sucking Dublin does have its moments and shows glimpses of the writer Walsh would go on to become.


Gemma Kane
Honi Cooke
Ethan Dillon
Gordon Quigley
Meg Healy
Michael-David Mckernan
Toni O’Rourke

Directed by Tracy Ryan
Lighting Design by Shane Gill
Designed by Ciara Murnane
Produced by Shane O’Regan

Categories: Header, Theatre, Theatre Review

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