Milk and Mucus 2

TAPAC Theatre, Western Springs, Auckland

28/02/2013 - 02/03/2013

Auckland Fringe 2013

Production Details

Catwalk Performance Fashion NZ presents
Directed by Annie Tatton

The twisted perspective and methods of the beauty machine forces perfection teetering on
the brink of ridiculousness in this show at TAPAC theatre from February 28th to March 2nd

This show challenges Catwalk practices creating aesthetics, ergonomics and prosthetics
merging into a choreography far from the so called ‘beautiful walk’. Milk bottles line the
runway, models are covered in mucus. The climactic event of the Catwalk includes
photographers, lights, sound and hype suggestive of the ultimate ‘cumshot’. The bliss of
milk and mucus is subverted.

A show which asks how far will we ‘hobble’ for fashion? What happens when fashion on the
Catwalk becomes lame? In what way does the Catwalk presuppose the bodies it extends,
and what becomes of the fashion system in the face of corporeal disablement?

Milk & Mucus was performed for the first time at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2012 with a
4 star review from Broadway Baby (  This genre spanning piece has
‘striking visual images’ along with ‘something a little sour’ in the air.

MILK & MUCUS 2 plays:
28th February – 2nd March, 8:30pm
Duration: 25 minutes
Venue: TAPAC, 100 Motions Road, Western Springs
Tickets: $15
Bookings: TAPAC – or (09) 845 0296 ext 2
For more information contact:
Annie Tatton
09 8284366 / 0211299921

25 mins

Catwalk perils!

Review by Briar Wilson 01st Mar 2013

It may be short, but it’s not sweet.  Nine models, including (fashionably) one guy, (even though not pretty), send up fashion parades and beauty routines.  Annie Tatton, with choreographer Jessie McCall, doesn’t intend the performance to make us laugh, and this we realise soon after taking our seats to lively music, as the show starts with a driving soundscape to set a serious tone.

The performance replicates a fashion parade with a T shaped catwalk, the foot of which is down front, and lined on both sides not by lights, but by empty plastic bottles.  The models wear fitting white clothes that are mostly quite normal, none too outrageous.  The shock is in the shoes – one foot is in either a fashionable really high stiletto or a high platform.  The other foot is in a monstrous looking contraption of a boot or shoe.

Nonetheless the models strut their stuff with the “I’m not really here” face, some with a very high, brushed up bouffant, hairdo, others with high, arranged headgear.  A photographer is on hand to get every move 

Things then gradually get worse for the models as they continue to walk – at first limping, then in pain with bodies contorted.  The guy falls over, to recline seductively – upon which some of the girls draw a cry from him by applying hair removal strips to his bare midriff.

Then one of the models enters carrying 8 stuffed soft white plastic surgical gloves like a milkmaid with panniers.  The gloves hold a milky liquid, that others suck out or sip – and she stays while they still continue to walk and pose.  White powder is sprinkled on the runway, one finds it difficult to balance; they pat powder onto their faces or slap a cheek 

Plastic food wrap is then wrapped around the poor girl’s head, and she makes a hole for her mouth to be fed the milky liquid by others, who apply more food wrap to her.  The food wrap would seem to be a symbol for mucus – fortunately not quite as repellent as the real thing. 

They become yet more crippled, entering with puffed out cheeks, numbered tags attached to an ear, and spit out the milky liquid onto the victim.  Finally some crawl in on their stomachs, and one, still moving her legs as if walking, is carried in on a stretcher.  There is a final “aren’t we gorgeous” tableau, and the models, with the exception of the one on the stretcher, leave, and the show is over.

The programme quotes writings from Luce Irigaray, a feminist philosopher and cultural theorist.  The text explains the significance of “milk” and “mucus”, but the scholastic terms are difficult for me – and probably other members of the audience – to understand.  My interpretations is that “milk” infers the way of life learnt by a woman that is taken in at her mother’s breast, also signifying nourishment for the male.  “Mucus” is what covers up a woman’s sense of self so that she sees herself as the male sees her.

The piece in an earlier version was shown with acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2012.  From my perspective of its aims, they are clearly expressed, well developed and performed here so that this show is also a success.



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