updated at 11:01 AM on 29/01/09
a sweet little story of love, intimacy and
TATTRIE (CULTURE CORNER)
Halifax News Net
WHERE: Neptune Theatre
WHEN: Until Feb. 15
MORE: Check out Neptunetheatre.com
for details, or call 429-7070.
Since everybody lost their money in the economic
meltdown, investing what remains of your life
savings into a high-quality, homemade pornographic
movie seems less like something you would
hear from a comedic playwright and more like
something your sober-faced financial advisor
Whether you turn up for ideas or laughs, Skin
Flick delivers both. Neptune secured the world
premier of Norm Foster's very funny new work;
he presciently wrote the blue play 18 months
ago, well before everything went red. David
Nairn is great as Rollie Waters, the near-retirement
costume worker who gets turfed when his company
resizes. Martha Irving is solid as his wife,
Daphne. She is also recently out of work,
and the couple's bills are mounting.
A mix up at the movie store has them watching
an adult film with their next-door neighbour,
a TV cameraman (Gordon Gammie) just fired
for accidentally cupping the breast of a reporter
live on air. When an out-of-work actress (Ginette
Mohr) turns up on their doorstep, the opportunity
is too good to waste.
Foster's writing is sharp and hilarious. He
makes great use of Rollie's double role as
narrator, having him stop the action throughout
the play to explain things, or explain away
his own behaviour. The language is salty at
the start (they are making a porno), but sanitized
with a funny trick. Pretty much every double
entendre you could dream up about the, er,
growth industry of the "cinema of the
unclothed" takes a bow, but Daphne's
dream of a dirty movie featuring "costumes,
romance and nine-grain baguettes" wins
Skin Flick is about as much like a demeaning
skin flick as Anne of Green Gables. It's a
sweet little story of love, intimacy and respect.
The backdrop----and backbone----of the whole
play is Rollie and Daphne's endearing relationship.
They've been married for 28 years, but Foster
steers clear of the cheap, bickering laughs
we usually get about long-term couples. Instead,
they just love each other, and like each other,
Jamie Williams bumbles into things as the
accidental male lead. As he and Mohr put on
their doctor-and-nurse outfits, they play
with male and female stereotypes: he's sexually
insecure while she's a ravenous vamp. Splayed
over the back of the coach, teetering on the
edge of a coffee table or romping in the master
bedroom, the two bring the guffaws while gently
examining our sexual fears.
Theatre laughs are almost always better than
cinema laughs. I think it's the intimacy and
the collaboration between the audience and
the actors: you're in it together. So skip
the mediocre fair at the cinema this week
and treat yourself to Skin Flick.
Jon Tattrie is a freelance journalist in Halifax.
After reviewing Skin Flick, he checked out
the Everything To Do With Sex travelling road
show at the Cunard Centre. Go to Payperhackwriter.blogspot.com
to see how he fared in the dungeon.