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Camden Fringe 2011

Killing Swine

Written and Directed by Will Sheriff Hammond

Genre: Drama


Theatro Technis


Low Down


From start to finish, Killing Swine was an evocative masterpiece that tantalized the mind with its thrilling dialogue and tense atmosphere.


Nancy and Harold are young lovers. Nancy is typical school girl interested in friends, booze and boys whilst Harold is a pre – premiership footballer, desperately looking to make the big time. Nancy then has an unexpected pregnancy. Nancy’s baby is born but tragically dies a few hours later. A dark secret is discovered and Harold then spurred on by Nancy, seeks revenge for the pain that this loss has caused…
It was a thoroughly modern version of a classic that tainted my heart and mind. The play focuses on the younger generation, the future who should lead this country to glory and out of its shambles, but what a troubled, callous generation they represent. They have not been guided well by their elders and so have become resentful and always put themselves first. Through the dialogue of the play, this cold- blooded generation beautifully portrays the timeless concept of love in various ways, bringing a sense of authenticity and sentiment to the entire production. Rather than portraying the idyllic fairytale idea of love, love can bring disappointment, can be more about possession, loss and is often unrequited.   
The emotions and the expressions demonstrated by the young actors were flawless, lightly touched with the utmost professionalism. The acting was realistic in each of the specific situations portrayed and progressed in time with the quick pace of the play. Actors were always positioned in a way so that they could be easily viewed at all times. Perhaps, it is worth mentioning that the play was not all doom and gloom. The play was written with lighter elements although most of it was quite sexual and graphic The writer and producer Will Sheriff Hammond cleverly realized that even this disturbing production required a comedic element, offered doses of this at right moments and thus balanced out the emotions in the play. However, the dialogue did give the indication that this play was only ever meant for a younger audience and perhaps this is something that would adversely affect the production’s chances of reaching mainstream theatre.    
It began with the spine tingling ending scene and the audience is kept in suspense until the end of the performance to discover why this is so. Both the starting and the end leave you with a bitter aftertaste. There was no stage but the sinister props added to the overall feel of the performance. In  terms of costume, the cast all wore the same colour of clothing, signifying the equality between the types of characters played, even though they all came from various backgrounds. Music was another element that was used with great. A dark, ominous melody was used in all the scenes where Harold and Nancy were together, even during their happy times providing an ominous indication of things to come. A sense of intimacy between the audience and characters was created through the use of a spotlight when one character wanted to reveal their seedy secrets that the rest of characters were unaware of.
The play was immensely enjoyable and I was glued to my seat throughout the performance. The actors performed their roles with great skill and used the modest design around them to give a heart – breaking presentation.