Kelly Jones’ Snout, a co-production between Oran Mor and Sherman Theatre, is a brutal satire on the meat industry, and also the way women are sold, bred and objectified for mass consumption. Playing with female representation, the trio of ‘pigs’:pious, virginal Viv (Sally Reid) who drinks her own urine; glamour queen Lacey (Michele Gallagher) and rebellious, edgy Coco (Claire Cage) may feel like simple stereotypes, but the way they are flipped is both pointed and clever.
The stage is covered with litter (nice visual pun) and the three willingly go into a van, certain they are on their way to the village fete to win rosettes. But it seems Viv may know more than she is letting on about their true destination, and Coco is having none of it. Lacey, meanwhile, just wants to be slavishly admired. Smart dialogue drip-feeds the awareness by the animals of the apalling treatment by humans, as the three lament the mysterious loss of Harriet, one of the best of breed at market, but a loved-one to them.
There’s an awards acceptance speech like no other, awkward dancing, some one-liners about ‘finding some well-oiled hogs to seduce’ and the labels humans impose on the creatures. With the future of farming in doubt, and more people increasingly turning to veganism and vegetarianism, the play is timely, but never hectoring or brash- just a humane, witty meditation on agency and choice. All three women are superb, and the battle of wills is bracingly rendered in almost an hour, causing many of the audience to rethink any rash(er) decisions on their diets.
At Oran Mor until November 5th, before going on to Sherman Cymru, Cardiff on November 7th