BATS Theatre, Studio, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

02/10/2018 - 06/10/2018

Production Details

Stories from deep within the mind of someone who is not only a woman, not only not-white, but unable to be quiet on top of it all.

“No review for this one: just do whatever you can to see Saraid Cameron’s angry, beautiful show” – The Pantograph Punch

Drowning in Milk (R18) offers a brief chance to step into the mind of someone who might usually tell you to piss off, and see what life is like on the other side.

Unless you’re also not white and/or a woman, then it’s probably more like a hang or something.

INCLUDES: the first time the performer realised she wasn’t white AKA Moving to Christchurch, a cocktail called ‘A Touch of the Tar Brush’, and maybe even a brief monologue about Tony Veitch.

Other than throwing the artist’s money down the drain, the point of the show is to frankly answer all the questions that might be a little uncomfortable to ask someone who doesn’t look like you.

Every audience member will receive a drink made by the actor (included in ticket price). There is a maximum of 20 tickets per show available.

BATS Theatre: The Studio
2 – 6 October 2018
7pm & 8:30pm
All Tickets $25 
Book tickets

*Access to The Studio is via stairs, so please contact the BATS Box Office at least 24 hours in advance if you have accessibility requirements so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Read more about accessibility at BATS.

Theatre , Solo ,

40 mins

Astonishing theatrical skill

Review by James Stevenson 04th Oct 2018

In Saraid Cameron’s solo show Drowning in Milk, currently at BATS after playing at the Auckland Fringe earlier this year, she tells us stories about her life, in particular how her life has been affected by racism and sexism. Her stated goal, magnificently achieved, is to create a space for the audience to varyingly understand and/or relate to the stories she tells, letting them serve as a window into or a mirror for the experience of life as a South Asian woman.

There’s no specific plot, but the sequence of anecdotes and monologues build up a bond between Cameron and her audience as she shares stories of encounters with people being racist and sexist that are as horrible as they are ridiculous, eliciting shudders and laughs with equal frequency. 

This bond is further strengthened by the setting in BATS’ tiny Studio theatre, set up as a bar tended by Cameron. With scattered stools and chairs instead of a seating block, even the most distant are little more than a couple metres away from the performer. Not only is there nowhere for anyone to hide, there is nothing but the bar, which she uses at many points to establish a visual separation between performer and audience.  

As a result, the show has a stripped-down theatrical quality, making Cameron appear both elevated above and equal to the audience. This ambiguity is mirrored in the way that the monologue is ‘theatrical’, largely scripted and planned but also ‘natural’, autobiographical, partially improvised and performed more like a serious conversation than a theatrical monologue.

It’s also played with by the cocktails that Cameron makes for the audience throughout the performance. The action of making the drinks is straightforward and unfaked, furthering the naturalism of the play. Cameron’s status as bartender gives her power, as the one making the drinks, while also creating intimacy with the audience through the action of giving the drinks to them.

This atmosphere of closeness and intimacy enables the open human communication on Cameron’s part that is the centre of the performance. In doing so, this show expresses how the experience of living with racism and with sexism gets tangled up in the rest of life; how it feels to have to deal at the same time with being a human and with not being treated like one.

For its expression of this experience, and the astonishing theatrical skill with which it does so, Drowning in Milk is a piece that Wellington is lucky to have the opportunity to see.


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