Note: I received a copy of this play from Playwrights Canada Press for review. This does not impact the content of my review.
Book: Skin Flick
Author: Norm Foster
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press
Genre: Drama and Plays
My rating: 5 stars!
Synopsis: Middle-aged couple Daphne and Rollie and their friend Alex are out of work and out of luck when they get the idea to make their own porno film for some quick cash. The only problem is none of them want to star in it. As if on cue, a birthday telegram messenger arrives on their doorstep…
When I was offered the chance to read this play, I squealed with delight. It sounded hilarious. And it did not disappoint.
Skin Flick is absolutely gut-wrenchingly hilarious. Daphne and Rollie need to bring in some extra money. So they team up with their cameraman friend to make a porn film. Never mind that none of them has any experience making movies, writing scripts, acting, or any aspect of show business (unless you count Alex’s past career as a tv news cameraman, but that’s the sum total of their show biz experience). Nor do they have any budget to make this movie with. So, they think on their feet and somehow make a movie.
It’s awkward. It’s weird. It’s completely ridiculous. And at the same time, it’s incredibly heartwarming.
Narrated by Rollie, who jumps in and out of the action, breaking the fourth wall and telling his story to the audience (I love it when characters break the fourth wall!), we get to know all the other characters through his point of view as well as by watching the action. It’s a lot of fun. I really like Rollie.
The humour is written to be both obvious in the script and, at times, more subtle. It is also ripe for physical comedy. When I read the blurb, I wondered how Norm Foster was going to make something like this workable for the stage without an R-rating. He did it. Really well. None of the porno-filming happens on stage. And yet, as a reader/viewer, you still get to experience the awkwardness that happens when two untrained strangers try to act out a sex scene with multiple people watching, including a cameraman.
Overall, I think this is my favourite of all the plays I’ve read this year. I laughed so hard. Out loud. In public places. It was lovely.
If you’re interested in the other plays I’ve read and reviewed in 2017, check them out here: Redheaded Stepchild, I Am For You, Punch Up, The Invention of Romance. Thanks again to Playwrights Canada Press for sending me these fun reads!