The Dysmorphia Diet (Ball of Clay) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review


The Dysmorphia Diet (by Ball of Clay productions playing at the 2014 Toronto Fringe) is a one-woman show that takes a closer look at eating disorders and body image issues. The subject matter is interesting, the script is smart and well written but overall for me this show fell flat. I think it has the elements to make it a great show but unfortunately it’s not yet a great show.

Clay Nikiforuk plays a 23 year old woman who has never been comfortable with her weight. She is an average size 10, which in her mind is way too fat, and to make matters worse she lands a job as a receptionist at a pretentious yoga studio which obviously wrecks havoc on her already fragile self image.

Like I said, the play is well written, but Nikiforuk’s delivery is haphazard. She seems to constantly fumble on her lines, outright forget them and even laughs at one point. It was the second show in the run, so perhaps this will improve. I wanted so much to like this show but between the distracting delivery and super bright lighting it was hard for me to stay focused.

Nikiforuk plays about a dozen characters, complete with different accents and she does them really well. It’s when she’s playing her main character – which is most of the time – that she runs into trouble. That was what I found most confusing. If anything I’d expect it to be the other way around.

There were moments where I got drawn in, but the connection didn’t last for more than a minute.

The issues that are explored in this show are important and there’s some great, funny material in there. As I said, it has the elements to make a great show, and with some polishing it may yet do that, but for me right now, this show just missed the mark.


The Dysmorphia Diet plays at the Tarragon Theatre Solo Room (30 Bridgman Ave)

Show times
July 05 at 08:30 PM
July 07 at 09:15 PM
July 08 at 05:00 PM
July 10 at 08:00 PM
July 12 at 02:45 PM
July 13 at 12:30 PM

Tickets for all mainstage productions are $10 at the door, cash only. Advance tickets are $12, and can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062), or from the festival box office at the Fringe Club. (Rear of Honest Ed’s, 581 Bloor St. West). Money-saving value packs are also available if you are going to at least five shows; see website for details.

LATECOMERS ARE NEVER ADMITTED TO FRINGE SHOWS. To avoid disappointment, be sure to arrive a few minutes before curtain.

Photo of Clay Nikiforuk by Christopher Ayling

One thought on “The Dysmorphia Diet (Ball of Clay) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review”

  1. It’s unfortunate that you came to my shakiest show yet.

    But it’s also unfortunate to say that I constantly fumbled my lines. Three times – in a 60 minute play consisting of 38 pages of dialogue, which is close to 9000 words. I stumble over 3 of them and as a result you say you couldn’t get into the entire show.

    I’m also a theatre reviewer. Even if theatre/storytelling/comedy was, in some future nightmare, an Olympic sport to be judged almost entirely by its perfection and precision of execution, I’m not sure I would throw the proverbial baby out like this.

    But maybe you were having as rough of a day as I was.

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