The Pitchfork Disney

A nightmarish fairytale which plays out an unusual episode in the lives of a deluded twin brother and sister.
Lara Thomas
Published on June 17, 2013


The Pitchfork Disney is a haunting and poetic portrait of a lost generation, set in an imagined wasteland where the struggle of existence has become survival of the sickest.

After the mysterious disappearance of their parents, twins Haley and Presley Stray remain in a state of suspended animation. The twins survive on a diet of chocolate, barbiturates and disturbing delusions. They continue a childlike existence, isolating themselves from the outside world and using fantasy as an antidote to reality. Their bubble of self-induced solitary confinement is burst when a sinister nightclub entertainer and his lumbering, masked cohort come knocking.

Pitchfork Disney was a controversial hit from its first performance in London in 1991. It is seen as a key work in the ‘in-yer-face theatre’ movement of the 90s and in-yer-face it is. Twenty-one years on Ridley's dreamscape seems a prophecy fulfilled. Like a hall of mirrors, The Pitchfork Disney reflects and illuminates facets of contemporary society. It delves into the darkest corners of existence in a godless world, where people are paralysed by anxiety and fear.

The Moving Theatre Company brings Phillip Ridley's contemporary classic to Auckland for the first time with a slick and edgy production. Their collaboration with multi-award winning theatre designer Daniel Williams has certainly been fruitful. The installation style set adds an extra dimension, blurring the boundaries between fantasy and reality. The lighting and sound enhance the innovative set and before you know it, you've slipped into Hayley and Presley's world. From the minute you set foot in the transformed loft, you know you're in for a wild ride.

The calibre of performance was impressive, especially considering the demands of a play with lengthy monologues and only four characters. Michelle Blundell was brilliantly cast as Hayley Stray, projecting the perfect balance between mischievious child and tortured adult. Leon Wadham was equally good as Cosmo, but Todd Emerson's (Presley) epic monolgue topped the lot.

For a play that is so tied up in fantasy, The Pitchfork Disney is unsettlingly real. You won't leave the theatre with warm fuzzies, that's for sure, but you will leave with a lasting impression. The Pitchfork Disney's an engaging and thought-provoking piece of theatre which is bound to be one of the highlights of this year's Q Presents series.


Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x