Food for thought in Fat Pig production

Carter (Steven Hounsome) and Helen (Briana Dunn) in Fat Pig at the Old Mill Theatre.
Carter (Steven Hounsome) and Helen (Briana Dunn) in Fat Pig at the Old Mill Theatre.

OCEAN Reef Senior High School graduate Briana Dunn is performing in an award-winning comedy that takes a politically incorrect look at our obsession with appearance.

Written by Neil LaBute and directed by Les Hart, Fat Pig focuses on a good-looking young man who becomes involved with a plus-sized librarian.

When Tom falls in love with Helen (played by Dunn), he is ecstatic but is conflicted when his work colleague is highly insulting about the relationship due to Helen’s weight and appearance.

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The play follows Tom and Helen’s journey through a poignant and eye-opening production that hits on the topics of outside influences on decision-making and the human tendency to choose beauty over substance.

LaBute said he was inspired to write Fat Pig after an experiment with dieting where, as his weight decreased, so did his focus on writing.

“Helen is a funny, confident and bubbly woman in her late 20s,” Dunn said. “Her character is refreshing – she is who she is and she makes no apologies for being herself, including her plus-size appearance.

“She has an amazing personality that is positive and upbeat but you also get the chance to explore her inner vulnerabilities.”

Hart said the play would challenge audiences about some of their prejudices.

“In this case, the focus is on size but it could just as effectively tackle sexuality, religion or colour,” he said.

“But it really is about moving past that first impression and getting to know the individual.

“I’m hoping this play makes people assess their own thinking.”

Fat Pig plays at Old Mill Theatre in South Perth at 8pm on February 10, 11, 16-18, 22-25 and 2pm on February 12, 19.

Tickets on 9367 8719 or at www.oldmilltheatre.com.au/tickets.