Instarecommend: vicious barnyard satire Three Little Pigs
Bust-a-gut funny, open-a-vein dark political satire with shades of Lolly Jackson and Brett Kebble, the arms deal, corrupt cops, barnyard bureaucracy, strippers and submarine tenders.
Two pigs are dead, leaving the littlest to convince the authorities that it was the Big Bad Wolf before he comes for him too.
It’s brilliantly told, with minimalist props, Rob van Vuuren, James Cairns and Albert Pretorius switching effortlessly between characters (from a dumb Doberman of a cop to hyena bouncers, a strutting rooster who heads up the NPA and the pig cops of the title) and from flashbacks to present day, all held together by hotshot new director, Tara Notcutt.
But it’s also the kind of subversively imaginative South African theatre, like Andrew Buckland’s The Ugly Noonoo or Bloodstream and or Rob van Vuuren’s Tangkupa and Electric Juju, which made writing Zoo City possible.
I don’t think I’ve credited those kinds of plays enough, for making me realise that it was possible in the first place to write strange stories set in South Africa, with political and social resonances.
That kind of theatre made it clear to me that you could say something interesting about the world without resorting to grim social realism. You could be playful and inventive and tell mad, wonderful, funny, dark stories that cut to the heart of things with metaphor and allegory and satire and imagination.
But then, I don’t think South African theatre gets enough credit in general.
Three Little Pigs is one of the best plays I’ve seen in a long time. It’s must see NOW theatre.
It’s on til 9 February at the Baxter.