Review: Thearico Orgasmico’s The Barking Pig
Now to review The Barking Pig, a Thearico Orgasmico production. This play was another which just so happened to fall into my lap, as I was working the venue and giving a curtain speech afterward. I have to say that it started out with the utmost promise, before the show even began. You see, it seems that the play is a drinking game, and someone had brought free beer. A mystery. At any rate, I was completely disposed toward the show at this point. Bacchus was very happy. Any company or team who has food or drink at their show gains so many karma points in my book.
I will begin the review of the actual show with brutal frankness, for I cannot be dishonest: It could have used more rehearsals. Then again, I was seeing a preview made specifically for critics and reviewers and such- the festival hasn’t even technically started yet- so they may have great performances during the festival [Edit: They did improve by the end, perhaps as a result of my review or those similar.]. It is just that the timing was off in places, and timing in comedy is everything. I said in an earlier review of another show that I never disbelieved the actors, but I found that happening during this show. It is just the way things were slightly off-kilter. It wasn’t awful, and it wasn’t as low as the level of a high-school play, but there were moments when I felt the actors just didn’t even believe themselves in what they were saying, but just reciting lines in the order in which they belonged with a little caricatured inflection thrown in, cutting other actors off before finding the reason they were speaking.
Although several such moments took me out of the moment, I did enjoy watching the show. I enjoyed it as one would enjoy watching an afternoon of less-than-stellar television, or as one would enjoy reading Twilight novels, which are certainly not great but which will kill an afternoon. I laughed often. There was even one hilarious moment which shocked me and had me laughing quite hard behind a hand clapped to my mouth.
The show concerns an escaped prisoner, Victor, who is coming to the Barking Pig tavern “to kill one of seven outrageous drunken nincompoops. Who will it be?” I enjoy such plots as these. There’s nothing like a good comedic mystery, all taking place in one room as the characters attempt to figure it out. That certainly made the show more enjoyable. I also enjoyed the character archetypes very much. I very, very much enjoyed the homoeroticism between two men who had claimed immature enmity; that was excellent. As for the writing, some of the lines didn’t much make sense, but it was ignorable, and I went along with the play. I surrendered to it and had a good time.
I’m not going to give this show five stars, but I’m not going to say don’t see it. If you show up buzzed and bring a drink, you’ll certainly enjoy yourself. You’ll have fun. You’ll laugh. If you’re wondering whether to see this show or another, however, I can’t responsibly say I personally recommend this one. It’s not bad, but it’s not life-changing theatre. But sometimes you just aren’t in the mood for life-changing theatre.