Frankie (Angeline Bell) is a faded actress who had built a career hawking one performance around Northern American States. The opening of the play finds her crippled and speechless after suffering a stroke. She is being cared for by her companion May (Geraldine Alexander) and supported financially by May's daughter T-Belle (Kathy Rose O'Brien) who prospects for a rapidly diminishing supply of gold in Alaskan town Skagway.
Playwright Karen Ardiff uses flashbacks, a voice over of Frankie's thoughts and snippets from conversations between May and T-Belle to tell the story of the trio and why decisions need to be made.
Frankie is self-centred and obsessed with fame sacrificing little herself while those around her seem to sacrifice much to support her. As a protagonist Frankie is wholly unlikeable, even her final act is selfish and as a result sympathies lie with T-Belle who seems to be the only one sensible enough to see through Frankie and try and do something practical about their situation.
As a set up for a play it is a rather unique blend of a theatrical life and the cold harsh day to day reality living in a challenging environment at the turn of the 20th Century. It is reflected in a mixture of scenes that have the colour and a vague flamboyance of old style theatre with a more straightforward drama but I'm not entirely sure it worked.
At the end of In Skagway you are left with an oddly macabre image which felt appropriate in its strangeness.