Title: Fat Pig
Author: Neil LaBute
Number of Pages: 112
I imagine some people will probably be turned off this play because of the title. I found it be very thought-provoking and I’m definitely interested in reading more of Neil LaBute’s plays, but it also depressed me because of what it said about human nature. Fat Pig is about a guy named Tom who starts going out with Helen, a bright and witty but very obese woman.
Tom is strongly attracted to Helen and things start to get serious, but the several of the people in the office where he works fat-shame Helen and Tom becomes embarrassed by her. The relationship between Tom and Helen is interesting because Tom is physically attracted to Helen as well as attracted to her personality, it’s only the peer pressure from his shallow co-workers that drives him away from her.
Throughout the play you begin to see how truly weak Tom is and I felt so bad for Helen, who has many positive qualities and deserves someone better. Like any good play, Fat Pig has a naturalistic feel to it and the characters are all believable. I also thought the introduction was really interesting and it gave me a look into Neil LaBute’s mindset when he wrote it. Despite the title, I didn’t think this book was degrading to fat people at all (coming from me, a fat person.) It’s more of a sad commentary about how juvenile many people are and how they allow themselves to be swayed by the opinions of others.