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shows My Pig Speaks Latin. trilogy

'Dolly Deaths' Cabinet' In an old cabinet/dolls house chess pieces play out their checkered game, but even in victory Death lurks, ready to shove his next victim down the toilet into His domain. A three dimensional toy theatre of mechanical characters, glove puppets, shadows, flicker flames and demonic laughter. Accompanied by live music and sounds. 20 minutes


'Three Sides of Idolise' From out of the rocks a veritable Venus de Milo is carved. Anubis - disguised as an undercover F.B.I. agent and a robber disguised as a pig disguised as a dame, become infatuated with the model. But, about to be 'improved' by the sculptor, the statue comes to life. Rejecting all fatuous attention, she whirls her amputated stumps and exits blowing raspberries at all and sundry. A table-top show with automated statues, pinging cherubs, glitter, rock twirling and taped sound-track. 20 minutes

'My Pig Speaks Latin' A covered cage, clanking machinery, tubes and pulleys set the stage, a music box with opening doors and a tiny ballerina reveals the action and a grim process is set in motion. A shrewd pink-faced old woman disembodies a tufted ferret, a vacuum cleaner swan/dog is fed and the contents of its' evacuated bowels collected, a tiny man is shredded in a grinder. The purpose? - all is revealed when the curtains of the cage are finally raised. Accompanied by live music, disturbing sounds, grunts, squeaks and groans. 30 minutes


The 'My Pig Speaks Latin' trilogy, Faulty Optic's first ever show opened at the Rosemary Branch, pub-theatre in Islington, London for a 3 week run in January 1988.

In the different pieces they attempted to combine their skills as puppeteers and their visual interests eg 3d film animation, junk and sound sculpture, toy-theatre and automata, with potent images and themes, and live music and sounds. The audience sizes for their first run at the Rosemary Branch ranged from 3 to full-house (approx 50). Using feedback from the audience in the bar, after each show, they were able to develop the pieces further.

'My Pig Speaks Latin' trilogy toured in England, Holland, France, Germany, Switzerland and Spain.

Devised, constructed and performed by Gavin Glover and Liz Walker

Live Music composed and performed by Bridget Enever and Jessi Harling.

With thanks to Tessa Sheradin, Sian Rees, Rod Bolt, Kate Perkins, Miff, The British Council.

What the Papers said about My Pig Speaks Latin

City Limits magazine

14 January 1988 'My Pig Speaks Latin'; 'Dolly Death's Cabinet': 'Three Sides of Idolise'

(Rosemary Branch) Jane Alexander

Take an old cabinet and turn it into a chessboard doll's house a microcosm of a world in which pawns are overthrown and even the gloating victor is allowed only a moment's glory before Death arrives. Faulty Optic use their ingenious sets and stunningly effective puppets to rework the eternal themes of human existence: greed, lust, monotony, the search for power, the futility of pride.

Each of the three pieces has its own, highly individual set and cast of puppets: in 'Dolly Death Cabinet' there's the chessboard house; 'Three Sides of Idolise' revolves around a statue with unique and bizarre attributes, while in 'My Pig Speaks Latin' a covered cage amidst clanking machinery hides the grim secret of a gruesome ritual.

The analogues are numerous: Monty Python and Heath Robinson; Kafka and Mervyn Peake; the automata of Tim Hunkin and Paul Spooner; a hint even of Basil Brush and Spit the Dog. The net result, however, is totally autonomous wittily macabre, highly amusing and always surprising. It's a Punch and Judy for the Apocalyptic Age.

Time Out magazine

Rosemary Branch. Islington, London. 20 April 1988

Neil Bartlett

At the newly done-up Rosemary Branch (cheap, comfortable and friendly) an unexpected pleasure; puppet theatre for grown-ups. On tiny, crowded stages, pig- and dog-headed marionettes, whey-faced chess pieces and strange animals clash with uncannilly animated domestic trivia. Statues spit, Death pushes his victims down the toilet and an endearingly rude armadillo is disembowelled by a calmly idiotic clown. Sounds cute but it isn't; the puppets are truly beautiful and their eerily impersonal energy animates a dream world whose alarming and vivid images stay with you the morning after. Very different; very good.