Tracy Pang on Her Upcoming “Fat Pig” Production

Fat Pig by Neil LaBute first premiered off-Broadway in 2004 and won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play and was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. The dramatic rom-com develops from the awkward emotional contradictions Tom feels as the young, good-looking professional dates Helen who is funny and smart, but Tom is embarrassed in public by her “plus-sized” physique.

The play, starring Frances Lee and Gavin Yap, will be staged by Pangdemonium at the DBS Arts Center, February 13 to March 2.

What attracted you to the play?

I had read a few of Neil Labute’s plays and this was the one that I thought would resonate well in Singapore, not only that it is extremely funny and extremely moving, the characters are flawed but also very real, they are not necessarily likeable, but you will love to hate them.

What is the play really about?

It is about our own prejudices, peer pressure to conform, and the courage or lack of it to stand up for things. The play gives no answers but hopefully it will throw up some questions.

What are the main directing challenges?

The main challenge was in the casting of this show. Once we had that down right, everything else has been plain sailing. Finding the right person to play Helen was a challenge, we needed someone who was on the plus size, who could not only act, but was confident and comfortable with herself and had the kind of personality that is joyful and infectious. Being big was not going to be enough, I needed to find a good chemistry between my romantic couple, so it was a tall order. Thankfully we found Francis!

Are you doing any "adaptations" for a Singapore context?

Not really, the play stands better without adaptation. We looked into it but it just didn’t work. The only thing we have done is to update a couple of the references.

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