Skin Flick suitable for all — even grandma 0
I arrived at the Gayety Theatre on Monday night curious as to what a play called Skin Flick was exactly going to entail.
Here is the synopsis of the play from the Theatre Collingwood website: In the midst of an economic downturn, who wouldn’t jump at the chance to make some extra cash? A ‘regular’, middle-aged couple suddenly lose their jobs. Panicked, they stumble upon the idea of producing an ‘adult movie’ to make ends meet. Like fish out of water and deer in headlights, these lovable characters will keep you in stitches. Will morality be swayed by financial necessity?
Being a person of 23 it takes quite a bit to shock me or make me squirm. That is, except for when in the presence of my grandmother, who happened to be my date for the evening.
As the lights above the audience went down, and the lights on the stage began to brighten I had one last surge of panic run through me: Is this going to be the most awkward two hours of my life?
Within the first 30 seconds of the play everyone in the audience was laughing and my anxiety had surpassed. Skin Flick had both myself and my grandmother howling, to the point where she had to wipe away tears.
Artistic Director of Theatre Collingwood, Stephen Thomas was attracted to this play for just that reason.
“It is really over the top and off the wall, and the fact that Norm (Foster) even came up with the idea is really quite wonderful and he’s such a master of dialogue and situation, and I have admired Norm’s work for many years and to get a chance to do something that is this funny,” said Thomas. “I just thought, ‘Okay, I have to do this’.”
The brilliantly funny cast includes the playwright himself, Norm Foster, who plays the part of Alex Boyle.
“We’ve known Norm for about eight or 10 years”, says Thomas, “and he’s a man of the theatre and a good colleague. He’s approachable, it’s not like he’s out there on some other planet.
“He’s got a really unique perspective on humanity, and especially the ordinary person, and he kind of puts them into unusual situations as you can see.”
The rest of the cast includes Susan Greenfield in the part of Daphne Waters, David Nairn who plays Rollie Waters, Amanda Parsons who plays Jill, and Andy Pogson in the role of Byron Hobbs, all of the cast have acted together before except for Andy who is new to the comedic team.
Here are some of the highlights from when I got to sit down with them after the show:
What was it about this particular play that made you want to be a part of this production?
David: Wow, there’s a loaded question. Well it’s always delightful to do Norm’s plays, I’ve been in a lot of them, and they are wonderful, wonderful pieces. Audiences really relate to them and so you know that it’s always going to be a really good time when you are working on one of Norm’s plays. You know also that it’s going to touch audiences and that it’s going to make them laugh, it’s going to make them cry, like Betty (my grandmother), and that’s just a wonderful opportunity that doesn’t come around all the time.
What was the funniest/moment thing that happened behind the scenes?
Irene Thomas: You guys were laughing all the way through rehearsals.
David: What’s the funniest thing that happened during rehearsals? Andy, what’s the funniest that’s happened during rehearsals? We’re not really a fun crowd.
Every single moment of it has been delightful so far, we laugh a lot. It’s great to be in Collingwood, and the audience loved it tonight so that was great.
Steven Thomas: The expression in the theatre is “corpsing,” and this is when you lose your concentration and you laugh at the ridiculousness of the line or the situation, and you can’t do that otherwise the whole reality and world that you’ve created collapses. And what happens in rehearsals, of course, is that you have to get those giggles out, and they don’t make it easy for each other.
They are always coming up with something that is going to make you laugh in any given situation, even as recently as yesterday when Amanda (Parsons) delivered a line in a way that was completely new that none of us had expected and Andy (Pogson) just absolutely “corpsed” and that was only yesterday, we are supposed to be passed that by now!
But they were just a great crew to work with and it is really hard just to say one thing because there were so many of them, it was great fun.
Is there anything you learned from working on this production?
Amanda: That it’s never stale.
Norm: No there is always something new.
Amanda: And just because we have done the show before doesn’t mean that it’s locked and loaded. Just keep it fresh.
David: And it changes every night. You know Betty might not be here tomorrow night and start laughing to the point where she has to dry her eyes.
Do you get nervous before you perform?
Norm: Yes. It’s good to have little butterflies otherwise you get cocky. You go out there and go, “Oops, I forgot a line that I didn’t think I was going to forget.” So ya, you always get nervous.
David: I think you need a little adrenaline buzz to get you going.
Susan: It keeps the focus on. It’s when I get distracted that I make mistakes, when I notice something and I’m not listening.
Do you have any pre-show rituals or post-show rituals?
David: None that I can talk about. None that I want to be quoted on!
Is there anything you guys would like to add?
David: BUY TICKETS! COME AND SEE THE SHOW! EVERYONE YOU KNOW SHOULD COME AND SEE THE SHOW, EVERY SINGLE SEAT SHOULD BE SOLD OUT FROM NOW UNTIL SATURDAY NIGHT.
I’ll put that in bold letters.
David: Good! GET YOUR TICKETS NOW, BECAUSE THERE IS PROBABLY NOT MANY LEFT! And Betty, I’m glad you had a good time.
The cast is hilarious and delightful both on and off stage, the play is fantastic and so much fun, I highly recommend it to anyone.
Tonight and tomorrow are your last opportunities to see the show which starts at 8 p.m., so you can pick up your tickets either at The Gayety Theatre in Collingwood before the show begins or you can purchase tickets beforehand at the Theatre Collingwood office, by phoning them at 705-445-2200, and you can also purchase your tickets online at the Theatre Collingwood website www.theatrecollingwood.com. Thank you to the fabulous cast for sitting down with me after the show, to Steven and Irene Thomas for speaking with me as well and to all of the people that worked behind the scenes.
You guys did an awesome job!
If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me at email@example.com. Have a great week!