Cow. Slob. Fat Pig. These are cruel names that we can never imagine calling another person, but as the latest Pangdemonium production shows us, there’s a judgmental know-it-all lying within each of us.
Fat Pig tells the story of a handsome young professional, Tom (Gavin Yap), who finds himself falling in love with Helen (Frances Lee), a plus-sized girl with a big heart and a bigger laugh. However, he faces a lot of pressure from his indignant on-off girlfriend, Jeannie (Elizabeth Lazan), and his obnoxious pal, Carter (Zachary Ibrahim).
Yet, as much as Tom finds himself attracted to Helen, he somehow finds it necessary to keep the object of his desire a secret, away from the judgmental eyes of his peers. In fact, he goes as far as to request for seats at the back of restaurants whenever he’s out with Helen, or sneak into cinema theatres only after the lights have dimmed. Some may argue that perhaps Tom is still a confused little boy trapped in a grown man’s body (his penchant for superhero figurines and baby talk doesn’t help his case) but for me, Tom’s character is a reflection of each and every one of us. As much as we try to do the right thing or follow our hearts, it’s inevitable that we are occasionally swayed by the criticism we receive from the people around us. For example, there was this particular scene where Carter is trying to justify his revulsion towards fat people. To paraphrase, he said something about how human beings are afraid of people who are different from us – the handicapped, the elderly, and the grossly overweight – because we’re afraid we’re one bad fall or a few bags of Oreos away from turning into the very thing that disgusts us. Sadly, this struck a raw nerve in me.
But this is precisely what I like about Pangdemonium productions – the way they bring to life the thoughts and emotions buried deep within us; vile thoughts that we don’t even allow ourselves to entertain. Beneath every seemingly simple storyline lies a whole mishmash of themes, feelings, and social critique that you’ll be untangling for days or even weeks after the curtains close.
For a relatively unknown cast, the four cast members did a pretty good job of keeping up the energy throughout the play, and keeping the audience engrossed from start to end. Special mention goes out to Elizabeth Lazan and Zachary Ibrahim. From where I was seated (just a few rows from the stage), I could see Lazan really gave her all, especially during particularly emotional scenes where she was screaming. There was a vein throbbing visibly at the side of her neck, and I was worried it would burst if she continued yelling that way! Ibrahim also did such a good job of being a smarmy, cocky douchebag that almost every line he spouted had me alternating between shaking my head or burying my face in my hands.
If you’re the sort who enjoys theatre that makes you think and feel a whole spectrum of emotions, you HAVE TO catch Pangdemonium’s productions. Tickets are selling fast, so grab them now!
Fat Pig is now playing till 2 March, and tickets are available at Sistic.
Note: The author was invited to review Fat Pig by Pangdemonium Theatre Company. All opinions are the author’s own.
About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.
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