Thursday, March 24, 2011

Skinhouse Review


Skinhouse is a two-woman performance from theatre director, playwright and performer Fleur Kilpatrick, and actor, singer and pianist Kristina Benton. It's a strange creation – not fiction and not fictionalised but a kind of factual revelation of a year these friends spent getting to know each other in their share-house. It's a movingly honest account of one friend trying to understand how this other friend deals with her life as a prostitute.

Perfectly suited to the intimate stage of La Mama, the audience feels very much like they are sitting in the living room eavesdropping on the conversation of these two friends...because that is precisely what we are doing. They are performers performing, sure, but everything about the script and performances is so very real.

And while a play about the sex industry has the potential for either shock value or glamorisation, Skinhouse deftly avoids both. There is honesty without going for shock, and there is humour without making light of the subject matter.

Creative couplings are often miracles of chance, and in the opening moments it's very clear that that's what we have in these two performers. They play off each other brilliantly and naturally. They chat away like girls, they tease, they argue, they discuss the reality of the sex industry to the sound of the clean linen and towels they fluff and fold in their nice home.

And they sing, beautiful harmonies, simple lyrics imbued with the honesty this play is all about. I for one am very happy that these two women met and have been brave enough to share their story, creating something quite beautiful out of a situation less than beautiful.

It's a short season on alternate nights so be quick. Oh and the CD is worth picking up too. All piano and vocals, it's reflective, sad, unsettling, strangely sweet. Like the play itself, a quiet little, unpretentious thing of beauty.


At La Mama Theatre, Carlton, until April 3


Guyana-Gyal said...

I enjoyed your review so much, I'd fly there to see it. If I could.

Margarita Milonguita said...

Ooh I should rush out and see it. I worry about plays because I'm narcoleptic and fall asleep anywhere when I'm tired!

My captcha is 'intome' as 'are you intome?'

Drinks soon- even if it's a beef martini.

Lee said...

This one is an hour long so you should be fine. Perfect length for a mid-week play.

Beef martinis soon, yes.