FatG: Fringe at the Gryphon, 22 Ghuznee Street, Wellington

19/03/2021 - 20/03/2021

NZ Fringe Festival 2021

Production Details

Do you like fully-unbridled chaotic energy? New Zealand Theatre Live presents their debut performance of MILK!

This improv show has the audience in control with buckets of water balloons at their disposal, throw them at us, throw MORE at us, throw them at our BUmS, stick ’em in a stew!

We’re bringing you jazz, autonomy and a little bit of whatever you want, please tell us. Come in with a good arm and a wet attitude, late night at The Gryphon has never been so messy.

Gryphon Theatre, Ghuznee Street, Wellington
19th – 20th March 2021
Ticket booking:

Performers: Sean Dugdale-Martin, Dylan Hutton, Daniel Nodder, Pippa Drakeford-Croad, Rebekah de Roo.

Director – Sean Dugdale-Martin
Marketing manager – Timothy Fraser
Producer – Prea Millar
Technical operator – Olivia Flanagan 

Theatre , Physical , Improv ,

55 mins

A high-energy Fringe highlight

Review by Arthur Hawkes 21st Mar 2021

MILK! is an unbridled, chaotic piece of comedy improv that will leave you in stitches and probably a little wet.  

New Zealand Theatre Live have concocted a totally unique format, where a rough scenario is formed that the actors play out. However, the scenario must alter when someone throws a water balloon (an eco-friendly biodegradable water balloon no less). This is where the audience comes in. Beside the seats of the first three aisles are buckets filled with the things – and they can be thrown at any time.

Most contain water, but some contain oat milk. When an oat milk balloon bursts on stage, the lighting flashes blue and red, the actors scream “MILK!” and a man (Teag Mackay) walks on blasting a loud saxophone solo. The closest actor then appears to lick the milk off the stage as they are showered with rice, although this is not explicitly stated during the show.

The random milk scenarios are hilarious and provide bizarre cutaways from the (very loose) plot that’s unfolding. When the actors return, the absurdity of the prior situation is reinforced to much amusement. Somehow a plot involving the morning commute of a woman named Catherine (Dylan Hutton) to McDonalds results in a Grindr date between a prison guard (Anna Barker) and a dead dog (Tim Fraser).

The improvising is fast and witty, with Hutton, Fraser, Barker and de Roo all bouncing off one another well. The chaos of the show occasionally hampers things like delivery and audibility, but this is soon overlooked – probably because someone’s just thrown another water balloon, or a perturbed Burger King manager is licking milk off the floor.

The show is carried by its MC, Sean Dugdale-Martin, wearing swimming goggles, with a large target painted on his chest. He keeps the show adhering to some shred of coherence and is the only one not in character, so makes humorous observations about the events unfolding and the absurdity of the scenarios. It’s a very necessary device in what could otherwise very easily descend into a bad acid trip scene from a 70s B-movie.

The fact it only hints at doing this, and remains laugh-out-loud funny throughout, is testament to the comedic talents of the actors and the overall format of the show, which is probably a little more thought out than one would immediately assume.

MILK! is a high-energy Fringe highlight and a must-see if the troupe keep the format going for next year, or for further performances elsewhere. 


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