Milk Presents burst onto the Edinburgh Fringe scene last year with their version of Bluebeard: A Fairytale for Adults, which revealed the potential of their young but imaginative company. This year at the Underbelly they return with A Real Man’s Guide To Sainthood, a cheeky and charming look at how a young boy called George took the journey to being a saint. With moustaches aplenty and lots of tales of manly things, Milk Presents offer another frolic into their creative minds.
George, played by the rather innocent looking Stuart Wilde, is a young boy in the town of Silene. Here the King, played by the dashing and gentlemanly Adam Robertson, reigns across his kingdom, but with a need to raise his influence he spreads word that a dragon is about to attack their city. A hero needs to be found to save the day, but do the citizens of Silene have a suitable man?
With music and bicycle-powered lights, Milk Presents (with direction from Lucy Skilbeck) tells a tale of manpower and the journey and pitfalls of George as he makes his name and eventually becomes a saint. It’s a fun and imaginative production using overhead projectors to create a rough-around-the-edges quality to the work that seems fitting.
A Real Man’s Guide To Sainthood does come with faults though: a slight pacing issue and a lack of connection with the protagonist lets the production down a little. Yet Milk Presents clearly have a commitment and drive to present their work with force, and it shows.
There’s some tongue-in-cheek moments, many a competition of manliness to keep the audience entertained and a good deal of storytelling. The show might not have the same punch as last year’s Bluebeard, but it does make clear that if you’re looking for a company bursting with potential, Milk Presents are surely it. As an associate company of The Point, Eastleigh and being in their early twenties, they’re destined for dizzy heights. Be sure to catch them in Edinburgh and say you saw them here first.
**** – 4/5 Stars
A Real Man’s Guide to Sainthood is playing at the Underbelly as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival until 26 August. For more information and tickets, see the Underbelly website.