Coulrophobia: fear of clowns. If you’ve never been scared of clowns and their silly red noses, you will be by the end of The Long Pigs.
Rejected and broken by their own kind, the three long pigs (from the Melanesian Pidgin for “human flesh”) are so bitterly dark and absurdly hilarious that you’ll never be able to look at a fake red nose again without breaking out in a sweat or gagging.
Clare Bartholomew (Circus Oz, Die Roten Punkte and lots more), Derek Ives (Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus, The Candy Butchers and lots more) and Nicci Wilkes (La Fura Del Baus, CIRCA and lots more) are the three pigs: This, That and The Other Pig. They’re filthy and play in a rank mire of intimidation, mistrust and can’t-wash-it-off evil.
With ever-wonderful director Susie Dee, these traditionally-trained clowns put their hands down the throats of glittery-rainbow red-nosed clowns, turn them inside out and cut their guts out from the outside – with a blunt rusty knife.
And with the design team of Anna Tregloan (set and costumes), Andy Turner (lights) and Jethro Wooward (composition and sound) turning fortyfive downstairs into the cesspit factory where the clowns-gone-bad prepare and perform, the only thing more frightening than the clowns is the temptation to join them and roll around with them in the blood.
Be tempted. The macabre doesn’t get more gloriously funny.