Located in a rickety shack that acts as their factory, three paranoid comrades work, play and ritualize as their thrilled muttering drives their joy while a pile of shiny red noses emerge from beneath a rusty bucket.
Perceived as an underground clown cult, The Long Pigs takes its title from the Melanesian Pidgin phrase for “human flesh”, where three black nose clowns have been scalping clown noses and slicing the very symbol of innocence off their once red nose cousins. In a murky soup of mutual distrust and suspicion, promises made are constantly broken and the gang ultimately turns on itself in a fatally funny and destructive climax.
The collaboration of The Long Pigs creative team harnesses their expertise and collective passion for the darkness, the weirdness, the absurdity and development of the bouffon form. The mocking evilness of the bouffon, overlaid with the western clown’s traditional innocence creates an environment where The Long Pigs transform unspeakable subject matter and make it palatable.
Clare Bartholomew, Derek Ives, Nicci Wilks and Susie Dee have long histories associated with the development of clown in Australian theatrical culture having worked in companies including Candy Butchers, Kage, Circus Oz, Rock n Roll Circus (now C!RCA), Die Roten Punkte, Melbourne Theatre Company and The Business.
“We’ve seen antipathetic clowns, foul mouthed clowns, rock and roll clowns, anarchic hipster clowns…however it’s still relatively rare to see clowns like The Long Pigs who are outright evil and frightening,” say the devisers.
“It is our intention to subvert and make elastic perceptions of who and what clown embodies. By exploiting perceived expectations of the clown, we aim to ambush our audience, creating sympathy for characters and situations where society’s notions of morality and normality would usually insist none be shown.”
The Long Pigs takes the craft of clown and dramatically slices it open to expose the dark, but playful underbelly of buffoon to create an explosion of mirth fed by the joy of being evil.
Director: Susie Dee Featuring: Clare Bartholomew, Derek Ives and Nicci Wilks Set Design: Anna Tregloan Sound Design: Jetho Woodward Lighting Design: Andy Turner Production / Stage Manager: Rebecca Moore Producer: Insite Art
The Long Pigs
fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Season: 13 – 23 March 2014
Bookings: (03) 9662 9966 or online at: www.fortyfivedownstairs.com
For more information, visit: www.fortyfivedownstairs.com for details.
Image: Derek Ives, Clare Bartholomew and Nicci Wilks – design by Barney Sullivan and photo by Ponch Hawkes