Milk Presents are a fairly new contemporary theatre company and are associate artists of The Point in Eastleigh, which has a strong history of nurturing emerging companies. A Real Man’s Guide to Sainthood, their second show to come to Edinburgh, is an anarchic and comical take on the story of St George and asks questions about being a modern male and what men need to do to fit the ideal male mold. Milk Presents have a very strong visual style; there show Bluebeard: A Fairytale for Adults played around strongly with cabaret song and dance, live animation and multiple props and its thrilling to see them create theatre in this way.
The stage is generously decorated with three bicycles, multiple overhead projectors and a few suspended props. Three male actors proceed to tell us this is a story about men and they offer up comical stereotypes of manliness. Saskia Solomons, the lone female performer informs us she ‘is not a man’ and watches on the fringes providing most of the very catchy musical accompaniment to the show in which ‘Everyone Wants To Be A Hero’ is most defiantly the musical legacy of the piece.
The shows visual style was exceptionally brilliant, the handmade projections beautifully escort the audience through St George’sjourney and the whole homemade, strung together atmosphere reinforces the storytelling nature of Milk Presents work as one is flung back to childhood memories and overactive imaginations. There is always a danger that a cast can be overshadowed by the theatrical structure that surrounds them and unfortunately it was the effects and not St George that stole the show.
Overall though the whole show is fantastically powered, not only by the bicycles but the actors shear energy and enthusiasm, which one must give them full credit for. This is a cleverly devised piece of work but at times fails to push the narrative along enough meaning one can loose focus, that being said it’s a thoroughly entertaining and inventive piece of theatre.
A Real Man’s Guide to Sainthood is at the Underbelly for the duration of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for more information or to book tickets please click here