I'd Rather Goya Robbed Me of My Sleep Than Some Other Arsehole

Theatre , Drama
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 (© Ikinyum photography)
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© Ikinyum photography

'I'd Rather Goya Robbed Me of My Sleep Than Some Other Arsehole'

 (© Ikinyum photography)
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© Ikinyum photography

'I'd Rather Goya Robbed Me of My Sleep Than Some Other Arsehole'

 (© Ikinyum photography)
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© Ikinyum photography

'I'd Rather Goya Robbed Me of My Sleep Than Some Other Arsehole'

 (© Ikinyum photography)
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© Ikinyum photography

'I'd Rather Goya Robbed Me of My Sleep Than Some Other Arsehole'

 (© Ikinyum photography)
5/7
© Ikinyum photography

'I'd Rather Goya Robbed Me of My Sleep Than Some Other Arsehole'

 (© Ikinyum photography)
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© Ikinyum photography

'I'd Rather Goya Robbed Me of My Sleep Than Some Other Arsehole'

 (© Ikinyum photography)
7/7
© Ikinyum photography

'I'd Rather Goya Robbed Me of My Sleep Than Some Other Arsehole'

The humans are outnumbered in this lengthily-titled play from writer Rodrigo Garcia. Director Jude Christian deploys twice as many pigs as actors in her production of this 50-minute insight into the wretchedness of one man’s soul.

Okay, that may only amount to two cute porkers to one tall homo sapien, but it’s enough to make an impact. Emerging talent Christian has the hogs ‘playing’ the young sons, aged six and 11, of the unnamed man at the centre of this monologue. The man (Steffan Rhodri) is close to rock bottom and he’s tussling with the pointless crap of life. He wants to do something, not plan – ‘planning is for cowards’ – and decides to spend his savings (not a lot) on something mad. His sons want to go to Disneyland, but he’s got other ideas. He wants to drive around Madrid with a philosopher, break into the Prado at night and stare at Goya’s impossibly bleak Black Paintings.

Fly Davis’s bright cubed set keeps things claustrophobic. The man’s flat is a small square hoisted onto the back wall of the theatre, which turns while Rhodri is crammed into it. It evokes a real sense of the grubby prison of everyday city life. Rhodri’s performance is also good – highly energetic, volatile, and angry, he spits and bursts with an unpredictable violence.

On the whole, Christian manages a slick, occasionally illuminating production, but the pigs are ultimately a distracting gimmick. They are onstage most of the time, oinking, snoozing, scuttling and squealing. There’s some sort of metaphor for why his sons are pigs, but don’t ask me what it is.

Really though, it’s a troublesome play. There are plenty of ideas floating around but they lack cohesion and nothing fully formed emerges. Not a total pig’s ear, then, but it doesn’t quite bring home the bacon.

Event phone: 020 7229 0706
Event website: http://www.gatetheatre.co.uk
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