Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Review of Fat Pig - Can Plus Sized Women find True Love?

Photos courtesy of Pangdemonium
The bubbly and vivacious Helen played by Frances Lee

Fat Pig, Pangdemonium’s first production for 2014 is a hilarious play that focuses on a relationship between a young, handsome professional, Tom and a plus sized librarian, Helen.

Helen questioning Tom about his new found love

Written by playwright, Neil LaBute, the play starts off on a light-hearted note with Tom getting to know Helen at a fast-food outlet. They hit it off immediately. Through witty banter and harmless flirting, they fall in love with each other. Tom is enthralled by Helen’s simplicity, honesty, sense of humour and cheerfulness unlike the vain, insecure and weight-conscious Jeannie who is obsessed with her appearance.

Carter teases Tom about Helen

The storyline is simple, however it brings to light many issues, on how society frowns upon overweight women and how these women find it tough to find true love. It also depicts how shallow human beings are and reinforces the pressure that people face to measure up to their friends' expectations.  

The bubbly and vivacious Helen played by Frances Lee

Frances Lee plays the bubbly, vivacious and overweight Helen. She is a likeable and approachable character and her humour, infectious laughter and candid nature make her even more endearing.  During the show, we feel for Helen and we can understand her excitement when she meets the affable and good-looking Tom for the first time. We feel happy when she finally manages to find a man who is able to accept her for her size.

Tom and Helen getting intimate

As the play progresses, we empathise with Helen when she realises that Tom is embarrassed to be seen with her. We feel sorry for Helen when Tom does not openly introduce her to his colleagues during a company event for fear of being mocked at. There are also poignant moments when Helen realises that she is going to lose Tom and promises to lose weight to salvage their relationship.

Fat Pig, winner of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play and nominated for the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, abounds with wit, humour and sarcasm. Zachary Ibrahim is very convincing in his portrayal of the rude, insensitive and facetious Carter and Elizabeth Lazan does an excellent job in playing the role of the obsessive and vain Jeannie who has a soft spot for Tom.

With the cast of Fat Pig
Although the play is amusing, it examines the importance society places on physical appearance and the need to constantly ‘look good’ in front of one’s peers. At the end of the play, you can’t help but wonder if physical appearance should be a determining factor in a relationship. Shouldn't qualities such as kindness, thoughtfulness, sincerity, compatibility be considered too?

Overall, Fat Pig is an awesome play, it successfully uses humour to mock at society and reinforces the shallowness of the masses.

Fat Pig runs from now till 2 March at DBS Arts centre. To book your tickets, call 6348 5555 or log on to

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