IT'S not often a play comes along that knocks you for six.

Pig deserves the praise.

This 80-minute two-hander has at its core animal testing and domestic violence yet you leave the theatre with so many more issues floating around your head.

Sarah Power's one-act play is a product of the Royal Court's Stage Write scheme and outstanding for its crisp writing and maturity.

It is performed by two very talented actresses and directed with skill by Olive Pascha.

A stark but effective set by Ellie Light features a clinical work desk table, illuminated cube where Percy the 'guinea' piglet lives and a monitor connected to an oxygen cylinder.

The actresses change from civvies to scrubs and leave and enter through a single door.

This is all easy on the eye and allows the audience to concentrate on the wide-ranging dialogue.

Lucy (Abigail Middleton) is doing a masters degree and works the night shift for her research where Percy is her confidante.

She consults her mobile frequently and we discover her mum has gone, her dad is a mess and her boyfriend is a control freak.

We feel for this vulnerable girl.

There is her supervisor Maria (Karen Young) a vegan with OCD who brandishes a mental health brochure for her colleague.

But why - in between endless disinfectant spaying and checking for her keys - does she burst into tears?

We feel for her, too.

Pig is a first-class production with a top-notch cast and crew.

I look forward to more from this creative collaboration.

It has distressing subject matters but they are conveyed with humanity, sensitivity and acute observation.

Animal Magic

Five stars

It is on until Saturday (September 14)

Tickets from 0151 709 4321 or