Creators: Stu Mcloughlin and Howard Coggins
Reviewer: Chris Oldham
Following its 2015 Christmas show The Light Princess, the Tobacco Factory Theatre’s latest fairytale offering comes in the form of Living Spit’s modern take on The Three Little Pigs.
The three Bacon brothers (grown men, not pigs) work in construction, each deciding to build their own house in a field on the outskirts of a village called LittleMuckleintheWold. Chris P. Bacon builds his home out of straw, Kevin builds his out of wood, while Francis chooses to use bricks.
But as all three prepare to move in they each receive a visit from dastardly building inspector Miss Wolf, who seems intent on levelling the lot.
Aided by a handful of simple costumes, and a smattering of musical instruments including a ukulele and a double bass, performers Stu Mcloughlin and Howard Coggins make for a silly, energetic pair. Constructed solely from rhyme, the frenetic dialogue offers up plenty of adult humour, while any fumbled lines or botched musical introductions are gobbled up by the chemistry between the two men, or fired right back at the delighted audience.
Of course, despite such originality, it can’t all be Shakespeare – a fact which the two men are willing to concede more than once. Acknowledging that the repetitive nature of fairy tales in their purest form doesn’t always make for the best theatre, Mcloughlin and Coggins are happy to skip over parts that we’ve either already seen, or remember from when we were children, putting a different spin on each brother’s encounter with Miss Wolf, and throwing in a little backstory to explain how she turned out to be such a maniac.
With the arrival of an interval after only half an hour, the pace, unfortunately, stalls in the second act, exposing segments that could do with some streamlining. With that in mind, The Fabulous Bacon Boys could be a rowdy, unbroken hour of fun. With such a lot of content to get through however, the pair can be forgiven for taking a few minutes to catch their breath.
Runs until 10 July 2016 | Image: Contributed