We all know what it's like as you grow up. You live, you learn, you love. Friends come, and friends go. But you have just one friend to take on the world with, losing them means everything.
Darren and Sinéad were born in the same place at the same time on the same day (it's the first thing you see in John Haidar's new production of Disco Pigs). They grow up hand-in-hand on the streets of Cork, finding the nickname Pig and Runt along the way. They steal bottles from the offie, guzzle cider down the park and throw fists in the local. But they're always by each other's side, egging the other on.
It's their 17th birthday and, like anyone of that age, they're in the midst of an awakening. As Pig realises how he feels about Runt, he acts on impulse. They learn the difference between loving your best friend, and being a lover.
It's hard not get muddles in Pig and Runts sentences. Enda Walsh's dialogue begins almost infantile in structure, spoken with their thick Irish accents. Words fizz as you decipher each sentence. By the quarter-hour mark though, you feel as if you've found your feet and become engorged in this doomed love story.
Colin Campbell and Evanna Lynch have a fizzing chemistry as the friends. As that dwindles to an ember, Pig's remorse is plain to see. Campbell gives an energetic performance in the many clubs of Cork - where did he find all those dance moves? His aggression is palpable. Lych (known for her role as Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter), as the wide-eyed Runt, shows you what maturity looks like over the course of 75 minutes.
Elliot Griggs' lighting is key to the evening, transforming the simple set in this intimate studio space from a speeding bus to a classy club seamlessly. Haidar's production keeps things simple, though. The play is about this special relationship between two friends, and he stays true to that. It's just about them.
The production is, however, quite choppy. One moment Pig and Runt are giggling teenagers, the next they're losing each other. It takes too long to learn about them each as individuals, and discover what's going on inside their heads. Their conflict is the heart of their story, if only there was slightly more of it.
Disco Pigs tickets available now.