When a Man Loves an Oinker

Neil LaBute's Fat Pig is a pointless provocation

But Fat Pigwould like you to believe that such folks are everywhere — that this is the norm, not some aberration. It's extremely easy to like this play, because virtually everybody watching it will find themselves on the side of righteousness; you'd have to dig through a lot of refuse before you found somebody who resembles Fat Pig's conformity-obsessed straw-man.

Moreland and Ballard: Like, what's wrong with this picture? Absolutely nothing.
George Schiavone
Moreland and Ballard: Like, what's wrong with this picture? Absolutely nothing.

Margot Moreland's Helen is beautiful, endlessly sympathetic, funny, vulnerable — all kinds of good things. Maybe she's fat, but she's certainly no pig — not like the other three characters, who are pigs from snouts to squiggly tails. If LaBute's script had called for Helen to be ugly or stupid or even helplessly antisocial, then we'd have something to get hot and bothered about. Then Helen wouldn't be so sympathetic, and we'd be able to see some of ourselves in Tom's shame, Carter's callousness, or Jeannie's vitriol. As it is, Helen is merely large, and we are allowed to feel noble for loving her. Which is to say, although none of us is innocent, LaBute is willing to let us leave the theater feeling like we are.

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