Fresh from the hunt, they arrive. Attired in a confusing array of surgical and abattoir garb, the trio of comrades dump their spoils on the factory floor ready to feast. Thrilled muttering drives their joy as a pile of shiny red noses’ emerge from beneath a rusty bucket. They have been ‘scalping’ clown noses… Slicing the very symbol of innocence off their once red nosed cousins. The count of the catch reveals all is not well. They are one nose short.
A profound, stylistically and visually arresting performance rooted in physical and black comedy.
Perceived as an underground clown cult, The Long Pigs takes its title from the Melanesian Pidgin phrase for “human flesh”, where three black nose clowns have been scalping clown noses and slicing the very symbol of innocence off their once red nose cousins.
The Long Pigs is a cruel joke. Its content includes references to cannibalism, murder, vivisection and sex; but its form is a remix of conventional, highly approachable theatrical forms amidst a murky soup of mutual distrust and suspicion. In the best tradition of all good outlaw stories, in such an environment the gang ultimately turns on itself in a fatally destructive climax. This tension corners the audience in an uncomfortable bargain, where familiar and friendly comic patterns smuggle nasty themes into their consciousness, trapping them into complicity with the performers’ most horrible actions.
The Long Pigs is genuinely funny – it invests in classic comic forms, extensive classic training in circus and clowning and ultimately it’s as much Three Stooges as it is Jean Genet. The Long Pigs has opened the box of clown from the wrong end. It’s definitely no children’s party.