Enda Walsh's breakthrough play Disco Pigs is a fast and formally inventive portrait of two teenage Irish misfits. It was first performed by Corcadorca Theatre Company at the Triskel Arts Centre, Cork, in September 1996, and subsequently at the 1996 Dublin Theatre Festival. It received its UK premiere at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, on 7 August 1997, before transferring to the Bush Theatre, London, in September 1997, and then on international tour.
The play is written for two performers. Pig (male) and Runt (female) are two 17-year-olds who share everything including a birthday, communicate in a distinctive private language, and occupy an intensely imaginative world of their own. They seem to be completely inseparable, but as adulthood beckons them, Pig cannot let go of Runt and the fragile world they have built.
The Corcadorca production was directed by Pat Kiernan and designed by Aedin Cosgrove, with Cillian Murphy as Pig and Eileen Walsh as Runt.
The production won the Best Fringe Production Award at the 1996 Dublin Theatre Festival. It went on to win the Stewart Parker Prize for the best Irish debut play and the George Devine Award in 1997.
A feature film version directed by Kirsten Sheridan was released in 2001 with a screenplay by Enda Walsh, and with Cillian Murphy and Elaine Cassidy reprising their roles as Pig and Runt.
In his foreword to the collection Enda Walsh Plays: One (Nick Hern Books, 2011), Walsh writes: 'Disco Pigs is a jumble of things. A failed relationship I had with a twin, my relationship with the Cork dialect as a Dublin man, the explosive nightlife of the city at that time and our company’s participation in that nightlife. The play wrote itself in two weeks, was hugely naive but had a language that surprised me and somehow captured something about the city.'