MEN IN SKIRTS -
COMEDY BY NICKY SILVER
Cast: Alan Paris, Irene Christ, Edward Mercieca, Pia Zammit
Directed by: Cornelia
Performances: 25, 26, 27 April & 1,2,3,4, 9, 10, 11
Nicky Silver is a contemporary American playwright
Silver: "FAT MEN IN SKIRTS is, ultimately, a love
story, albeit a rather unconventional one
An unusual fate has befallen Phyllis Hogan and her young
son Bishop. En route to Italy, where they were meant to join
husband and father, Howard Hogan, a philandering film director,
their plane has crashed. With all the other passengers dead,
they find themselves stranded on a desert island. Under the
glaring sun that beats down on their unknown location, they
consume the cosmetic provisions from Phyllis handbag.
When these run out, survival measures become more drastic:
Phyllis sends Bishop to cut limbs off the dead passengers
Five years on, Phyllis and Bishop are miraculously
rescued from the island, but the creatures that return to
Howard Hogans apartment - which he meanwhile shares
with his mistress, the wannabe actress Pam bear scant
resemblance to the wife and son that once set off for Italy.
Subsistence in the wilderness, incest and cannibalism have
taken their toll. While Phyllis has retreated into a world
of her own from which she is rarely able or willing to connect
with reality, Bishop has turned from a shy, stuttering schoolboy
into a brutal beast immune to most peoples natural inhibitions.
Howard Hogan does not have the heart to disclose to his dishevelled
wife that he intends to marry Pam. Blind to the extent to
which insanity has entered his living room, he forces his
live-in lover to hide and pretend she is the maid. Meanwhile
the bloodthirsty Bishop pursues his island ways
Written in 1988, Fat Men in Skirts is an eccentric and darkly
funny comedy that explores human fragility under extreme conditions.
What makes it such an unusual piece of theatrical writing
is not just the wildly imaginative desert island scenario
at the heart of the story, but the powerful proximity of the
humorous and the horrendous, the razor-sharp punch lines and
the abysses that lie beneath them.
In flashbacks Silver exposes the shaky foundations of a family
of three. Despite his bitingly comic treatment of situations
such as Phyllis and Howards wedding night and
married life following the babys arrival, the ring of
realism is evident. It is from these dark points of departure
that this highly entertaining author catapults a mother and
her son on a bizarre, riveting and hilariously macabre journey
from civilisation to wilderness and back.
Shrill, shocking and shockingly funny, Fat Men in Skirts
is characterised by off-Broadway audacity that makes for disturbing
and exhilarating theatrical entertainment. In America, Nicky
Silver (born in 1960) is today recognised as one of the leading
comic voices of his generation. Fat Men in Skirts is one of
his earlier works. Nicky Silver lives in New York.