A Real Man's Guide to Sainthood

A Real Man’s Guide to Sainthood is a show ‘about men’ or, more specifically, it is a show about one man - St George the dragon slayer. Milk Presents use this hero-figure to question the extent to which all images are inevitably constructs. However, don’t be put off by a theme that suggests a wordy and philosophical production. This show is full of humour and inventiveness, often choosing to show rather than tell and managing to make the theme both accessible and fun.

Milk Present’s production is very imaginative, using narration, physicality, songs, and projections to tell its story. The atmosphere created is playful as we are introduced to the city of Silene (where the story takes place) through projections of a childlike hand-drawn map and 50s style advertising. Although the projections were beautiful aesthetically, the fact that the cast relies on them to light up the scene means sometimes shadows are created that obscure the actors’ faces. However, they do blend in perfectly with the entertaining and pitch perfect songs.

The production does not only have one tone; the scenes where George is searching for the dragon are truly frightening and contrast sharply with the atmosphere created up to that point. This variety kept the audience engaged and emotionally invested in the performance. There is a marked crescendo in the intensity of the action towards the end although sadly this is not fully realised in the conclusion, which comes across as slightly abrupt, albeit beautiful.

The actors are all multi-talented individuals who sing, act, and play music, as well as guiding us through this story. Their style and jokes spoke to the audience who laughed and were ready to participate when it was asked of them. The best thing about the actors, however, was that they did not shy away from the unexpected, instead making it part of their performance. To that end, jumbled up lines became entirely new jokes, and unsolicited audience participation was gracefully incorporated into the action. This made the performance feel truly unique and being an audience member feel slightly more important than it usually does.

Reviews by Margarita Semsi

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The Blurb

Disemboweling an English legend, Total Theatre Award nominees Milk Presents seek their manliness within. Pedal-power, elegant lyricism, and feisty original music collide, bringing you the story of St George.

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