Frank Pig Says Hello

by Patrick McCabe
Finborough
(2002)

The Butcher Boy was on the Booker Prize shortlist and was subsequently adapted by its author into this play. It tells the story of the psychotic Francie Brady, also known as Pig and Piglet.

He suffers from many of life's hard knocks. His mother is committed to an asylum known colloquially as The Garage, and both she and his father die while he is a child. Eventually, like his mother, he will call The Garage home.

Piglet has a sense of fun but finds it easier to lose friends than to make them. Eventually, he becomes a Butcher Boy, which is a job that suits his temperament perfectly. Gradually the play builds to an inevitable ending.

While the storyline can be hard to take, it is not easy to fault the excellent production qualities. The acting by Wayne Leonard, Madelaine Moore and, especially, Thomas Power is excellent, and director Caitriona McLaughlin is really sharp, assisted by a vivid imagination, a great soundscape by Darren Murphy and fast scene shifts.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher