Camden Peoples Theatre
Reviewed – 14th September 2017
“a multi-layered and contemporarily engaging piece of art”
For those who have read up on their gender theory, you will know that once you begin you are lost in a labyrinth of questions; more and more questions that eventually guide you to a new reality. A new understanding of the world around you.
Bullish, by Milk Presents Theatre Company, undoubtedly tackled this beast head-on. In this world of Greek myths, labyrinths and minotaurs we are taken on a journey of the complexities of gender identity, and in the fluid negotiation of gender transition. Created and performed by artists who identify as Trans, non-binary and gender-fluid we can now thankfully hear the voice of those historically made voiceless.
Imaginative, hilarious and poignant this production is a must-see. Not only because of its serious subject area but also because Bullish is a fantastic theatrical performance in its own right. Lucy Skilbeck is evidently both a skilled writer and director who is able to create a multi-layered and contemporarily engaging piece of art. Imbued with humour and a serious undertone, Skilbeck’s poetic writing left me wanting more.
The most encouraging aspect of this production was how all the different theatrical elements really collaborated with one another. Joshua Pharo’s lighting design and Emma Baily’s design were truly magnificent, without which the piece would not have been the same. Whilst, the stage design was minimalistic the cast knew how to navigate the space, adding a beauty to this minimalism and with the brilliant lighting design, it added a polished high quality aesthetic to this production.
Again, the costumes were simple but effective. Often using one or two items of clothing to represent a character this simple use of costume to multi-role worked brilliantly because of the way the piece incorporated these costume changes often making a point and bringing attention to this theatrical device.
I often found myself laughing or tapping my feet in joy to the wacky and fantastical musical numbers that David Lewington composed. The sound design and composition of the songs were flawless. It was really great that each cast member was able to show what they were made of through a character song that just added the cherry on the top to this already delicious dish.
Of course, such a production could not have been achieved if it wasn’t for the talented and gender-fierce ensemble. Their choral storytelling really demonstrated this casts’ ability to work as an ensemble; holding us in the palm of their hand and bringing us into their world. I really must commend and congratulate the cast for putting on a truly bullish performance.
Milk Presents Theatre Company, I am feeling liberated by your production.
Reviewed by Daniel Correia
Photography by Ben Millar Cole
is at Camden People’s Theatre until 30th September