Dog Theatre, Milk and Blood

Review in Issue 8-4 | Winter 1996

This was a word-dependent piece which remained locked to its script. A retelling of Snow White, the script also used many other motifs from fairytales. Whilst evoking some of the darker undertones of such tales, the script failed to develop or explore these adequately – thus in the representation of the female through the central motifs of ‘milk’ and ‘blood’ the oppression of women was reinforced rather than being explored and challenged. By default, such deeper issues remained negative in their resonances. I did not find the words and images especially dangerous or disturbing despite the claims of the festival. The words trapped what was potentially a strong piece of theatre; simple powerful images became clumsy illustrations of the words. The richness of simplicity was lost in a cluttered staging. This undermined the work of the actors in creating a physical/visual vocabulary which, whilst still raw and weak in characterisation, used patterns of movement/physical images that started to capture the archetypal undertones. The piece seemed to epitomise the weaknesses of word-based physical theatre; cliched script, the dominance of the word over the physical, the use of space given over to the illustration of the word without finding the unity of the verbal and physical. A piece of unrealised and missed potential.

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TT 8-4
Issue 8-4
p. 21