Performance art meets psychological thriller in Canberra’s newest Street Theatre play Pigman’s Lament. Written and performed by Raoul Craemer, Pigman’s is a non-stop one man existential piece outlining the difficulties of living in the shadow of a dark family past.

Craemer is a playwright and stay-at-home Dad with passions for soccer and theatre. Trapped in his Canberra apartment, Craemer is continually harassed by his Nazi grandfather in modern day Australia and the two argue the differences between themselves and what makes a man.

Exploring inter-generational familial themes, notions of duty and masculinity, the choices we make in how we determine our lives and the family secrets we choose to keep, the play questions whether we can reconcile today’s stay-at-home dad with yesterdays soldier.

Pigman’s Lament is brought to life by acclaimed Portuguese theatre directed Paulo Castro who has devised a show which is dark, funny and moving. The setting created is perfect and well utilised throughout the performance and the haunting lighting design by local Gillian Schwab was perhaps the plays best attribute.

Extraordinarily well acted by Raoul, who manages to hold the audience’s attention for a continuous hour and a half (no interval) – I found nuances in his acting similar to David Thewlis (Professor Lupin in Harry Potter).

A Meta, dark, self-deprecating performance piece of which Charlie Kaufman would be proud – on until 3 July, Pigman’s Lament is well worth a night out of the Canberra cold!

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