The Long Pigs (3 stars)

This article is from 2019

The Long Pigs

An absurd and enjoyable take on circus horror

Dark, blood-soaked, and strangely amusing,The Long Pigs is in some ways the ideal Edinburgh circus act. Set in a strange abattoir filled with creaking instruments and ominous shrieks, three little but distinctly un-fairytale-like pigs undertake a strange task: to rid the world of every red clown nose. When one goes missing, seeds of tension, distrust and hilarity are sown.

The Long Pigs' scenery might well be its strongest suit: strange, hand-operated machines and mechanical props are impressively assembled and disassembled on stage, weaving into the choreography of the act. The pigs themselves make the most of their absurdist concept, lingering in the ludicrous and pushing bizarre situations to the point of credulity and comfort.

For such a high concept show, however, there isn't enough emphasis on narrative – it isn't clear for a long time if the pigs love, hate or want to be clowns, or all three – and the circus antics are largely limited to admittedly intricate Laurel and Hardy-esque slapstick rather than some of the more physically demanding acts now typical of the Fringe.

These reservations aside, The Long Pigs is a unique, silly and very enjoyable hour. Part Burke and Hare gothic, part ridiculous physical theatre, The Long Pigs may well have found its perfect home.

Assembly Roxy, until 25 Aug (not 7, 12, 19), 7.30pm, £14–£16 (£13–£15).

The Long Pigs

  • 3 stars

WE3 and Cluster Arts Horror meets hilarity! Spine-tingling original theatre that is hilariously dark and frighteningly funny. Join this underground clown cult that audiences have been raving about. Set in a rickety abattoir-shack, the Pigs are working hard on their latest obsession, rid the world of every last red-nose…