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Fringe Review: Ten Little Sinners

By Brian Carroll on June 9, 2017

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Apt613 is trying to see every show on opening weekend of the 2017 Ottawa Fringe Festival. Read more reviews at apt613.ca/fringe.


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Ten Little Sinners
by Patrice Forbes
Dead Unicorn Ink

61 min / Comedy, Murder Mystery / Mature

Dead Unicorn Ink (producers of Chesterfield and Space Mystery…FROM OUTERSPACE!!!) has adapted Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians by setting the famous murder mystery in a remote porn film studio.

Online advertising for Ten Little Sinners warns that the show contains coarse language, violence, puns and nudity.

There is certainly nudity, including full frontal male nudity early in the show. Violence? Hey, it’s a murder mystery. Coarse language? It’s set in a porn studio. Duh!

But the really serious warning is about puns. Playwright Patrice Forbes uses the show to poke satirical fun at the profitable and pretentious porn industry. She also uses it as a vehicle to stuff as many puns and double entendres as she can into an hour, while still killing off… but I get ahead of myself.

The very title, Ten Little Sinners, is a double entendre. Yes, the characters are nominally sinners because they work in the porn industry. They’ve been lured with promises of a “big payload.” But they’ve been summoned because they have darker secret sins. When one of them dies, the rest slowly realize there is a killer in their midst.

The show is riddled with double entendres. A few examples: Aspiring young actress Ell Smith has a lesbian relationship with production “ass-istant” (sic), Danielle Chase (Dan I Elle Chase). Since he was hired via Craigslist, there’s some question of whether the fluffer, David Furlong, can go the distance. As for dominatrix and BDSM consultant, Seamus Seaman (pronounced “shame us, semen”)…

I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that the male lead, Tony Hardon (Nick Amott), has a big part but it doesn’t last long.

Meanwhile, David Furlong bursts forth in puns whenever he gets nervous. It’s like Tourette Syndrome, with puns instead of swearing.

I think you get my drift.

All of which is to say that the satirical Ten Little Sinners doesn’t take itself too seriously. This is cotton candy summer theatre. It’s an excuse for dreadful puns, fake blood, kinky costumes, outrageous over-acting, and even furry puppets. (Puppets are a DUI signature.)

I doubt that anyone in the opening night audience was aroused, but we certainly laughed. A lot.

Definitely not for all tastes. But if coarse language, violence, nudity and awful puns don’t offend you, give this comedy a chance.


Ten Little Sinners by Patrice Forbes is playing at Academic Hall (135 Séraphin-Marion) until Saturday June 17, 2017. Tickets cost $12 online and at the door. Visit ottawafringe.com for the show schedule and box office info.


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