Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations
list an event      1 million Australian readers every month      facebook

Fat Pig at Old Mill Theatre

Home > Perth > Community Theatre | Disabled Access | Performing Arts | Theatre
Event: -
Plus-sized laughs in play that brings home the bacon
Fat Pig, Neil LaBute, Old Mill Theatre, comedy, play, performing arts, laugh, humour
Briana Dunn is appearing as the librarian Helen in Fat Pig, a play that looks at our obsession with appearance.

An award-winning comedy that takes a politically incorrect look at our obsession with appearance is the Old Mill Theatre's first season of 2017. Written by Neil LaBute and directed by Les Hart, Fat Pig focuses on a good-looking young man who becomes involved with a plus-sized librarian.

When Tom falls in love with Helen, he is ecstatic – but is conflicted when his work colleague is highly insulting about the relationship due to Helen's weight and appearance. The play follows Tom and Helen's journey through a poignant and eye-opening production that hits on the topics of outside influences on decision-making and the human tendency to choose beauty over substance.

Winning the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play, LaBute was inspired to write Fat Pig after an experiment with dieting – as his weight decreased so did his focus on writing.

Les said the play will challenge audiences about some of their prejudices. "In this case, the focus is on size but it could just as effectively tackle sexuality, religion or colour," he said. "Of course, the title would need to be changed for those.

"But it really is about moving past that first impression and getting to know the individual. The world could do with less intolerance. I'm hoping this play makes people assess their own thinking."

Involved in theatre since the early 1970s, Les cut his teeth with the Kwinana Theatre Workshop at age 12 before moving to Newman and starting the Newman Amateur Theatrical Society in 1983. He resurrected the Port Hedland Playhouse in 1995 after another move and returned to Perth two years later, directing shows for the Old Mill Theatre and Playlovers.

Fat Pig is the first show Les has directed in a decade, after living overseas for the past nine years. "The first challenge was the casting – how do you request a person that is plus-sized and comfortable enough with themselves be referred to by the title?" he said. "The other is keeping the balance so the show doesn't get too heavy with the audience feeling like they're being lectured. There needs to be the lighter moments."


Briaa Dunn plays the role of Helen. "She's a funny, confident and bubbly woman in her late 20s," she said. "By day she is a librarian; by night she is a classic wartime movie buff. Her character is refreshing – she is who she is – and she makes no apologies for being herself, including her plus-size appearance. The biggest challenge is learning to eat while talking at the same time because, in just about every scene, Helen is eating something."

First involved in a high school production of A Christmas Carol, Briana has worked with Limelight, Stirling, Playlovers and Roleystone Theatres and ICW Productions on Oklahoma!, Noah The Musical, The Talented Mr Ripley, The Great American Trailer Park Musical and Oliver, mainly as a stage manager. In 2014, she made a return to acting in Annie and received an award for best on-stage chemistry in Blak Yak Theatre's 24-Hour Stage Project.

"I was initially drawn to Fat Pig by Helen's character," Briana said. "She has an amazing personality that is positive and upbeat – but you also get the chance to explore her inner vulnerabilities. Helen rides through an amazing rollercoaster of emotions during the play and I can't wait to really sink my teeth into it."

Fat Pig plays at 8pm February 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24 and 25 with 2pm matinees February 12 and 19. Tickets are $25, $20 concession – book on 9367 8719, oldmilltheatre@iinet.net.au or at oldmilltheatre.com.au/tickets. The heritage-listed Old Mill Theatre is on the corner of Mends Street and Mill Point Road, South Perth (opposite the Windsor Hotel and Australia Post).

Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  11
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? While the play is a comedy, the laughs are not just for entertainment – they’re a way to make us think more deeply about the attitude that equates being thin, athletic and youthful as the definition of success.
When: 8pm February 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24 & 25; 2pm matinees February 12 & 19
Phone: 93678719
Where: Old Mill Theatre, Mends Street, South Perth
Cost: $25, $20 concession
Your Comment
Articles from other cities
Featured
Top Events
Popular Articles
Categories
Lists
Questions