Skin Flick

Written on July 9th, 2011

Skin Flick


By Norm Foster
Directed by Walter Learning
Performed by Norm Foster, Susan Greenfield, David Nairn, Amanda Parsons, Jamie Williams.
Victoria Playhouse, Petrolia
July 5 to July 23, 2011
Reviewed by Mary Alderson

Bumbling Porn Stars

What’s more fun than a Norm Foster comedy? A Norm Foster comedy starring Norm Foster himself.

Victoria Playhouse Petrolia has Norm Foster back at Victoria Playhouse – he was last there in 2009 when he had the title role in his play Mending Fences. Now, VPP is fortunate enough to have him back again, taking a lead role in one of his recent creations. Foster has nearly 45 plays to his credit, making him Canada’s most prolific writer of comedies for the live stage.

And again, in Skin Flick he’s witty in a sardonic, sarcastic way, playing a cynical jaded character.

Alex Tratt (played perfectly by Foster) has just been fired as a TV news cameraman. His best friend Rollie (David Nairn) also gets word that he’s about to lose his job, and Rollie’s wife Daphne (Susan Greenfield) is unemployed. The three of them hit upon the idea of making a porn film as a get rich quick scheme. In walks Jill, (Amanda Parsons) an out of work actress in need of money for car repairs. Alex’s bookie, Byron (Jamie Williams) is invited in as an investor, but ends up being the porn star along with Jill.

Foster created a narrator for this story – Rollie, who’s not directly involved in the film-making as he still has his job for another week. Rollie steps forward to offer the exposition and set the scenes. Nairn, who has performed and directed at VPP in the past is perfect in the narrator’s role. Alex has a foul mouth, dropping the f-bomb on a regular basis. But Rollie as narrator realizes that it isn’t appropriate for the Petrolia audience and cuts out the vulgar language. Hilariously, Alex says “ I lost my ______ job,” mouthing the foul word silently.

The fun is all in the use of language. When they are auditioning for the role of the male in the porn film, they find one of the would-be actors too conceited and full of himself. “He’s a blow-hard, that’s the last thing you want in a porn film,” Daphne says. When Byron the bookie is selected for the role, they choose him for his humble qualities. “You don’t want to oversell yourself and then come up short,” he’s told.

There is great fun in naming the film: Diddler on the Roof and My Bare Lady were rejected in favour of Dr. Toolittle.

There are laughs galore and fans of Foster’s humour will appreciate this comedy. And with Foster in the cast you can be sure it is well done.

Skin Flick continues with eight shows a week at Victoria Playhouse Petrolia until July 23. Call the box office at 1-800-717-7694 or 519-882-1221 for tickets.

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