HK English Speaking Union
- Mon 17-12-2012 7:15 PM - 2 h 30 m
Fat Pig (2004) is Neil LaBute’s award-winning drama about societal pressure regarding physical size in human relationships. Office worker Tom’s first encounter at a self-service restaurant in a town somewhere near Chicago with a bright, funny, sexy young woman called Helen is a case of instant chemistry between a man and a woman (the designation of the characters until they actually introduce themselves). Helen has a good sense of humor (even about her weight and her appetite for large portions of pizza) and is different from the typically ironic types that Tom associates with.
Forced to explain his new relationship to his shallow but pushy office friend, Carter and his accounts co-worker Jeannie, with whom he has had a series of inconsequential dates, Tom must ultimately come to terms with received ideas regarding the importance of conventional looks - a position which peer pressure seems to force him to adopt against his better judgment. Tom is reluctant to engage with their criticisms of his new girl-friend and defend her against the vicious and invective-laced discrimination of his ‘friends’.
The play makes us think more deeply about Hollywood-esque attitudes that equate slim, athletic and youthful looks with success. The play’s serious subtext doesn’t detract from the sharp whimsical humour generated by the unlikely romance, but ultimately it makes us feel uncomfortable with the way we tend to be conditioned by social values and belief systems into not challenging the dictates of fashion when it comes to our choice of a love partner.