Cautious comedy with too many boundaries.
The Vaults is a great place for a piece like The Milkman Cometh, written by: Alice Bounce, Maxwell Tyler and Owen Jenkins and directed by Katherine Timms. The fun, ludicrous tone just suggests fun and forgetting the daily trials and tribulations. The writing, as suggested in the title, is: witty, creative and easy to follow. In a dystopian world, a child catcher-esque figure charades as a suspiciously evil milkman who rations milk to the village of Cud following a post-cow-cleansing fire/revolution. Yes, it requires imagination and maybe a few beers for good measure, but when you’re with it there is some substance to the radical spontaneity.
If the name isn’t the most enticing factor about this show, then the work of James Keningale and Tyler definitely is! Tyler’s commitment to character and circumstance immediately brings out a desire to laugh and enjoy the fact that he himself is enjoying it and easily committing to the seriousness of the situation. Likewise, Keningale’s vocal skills are totally believable despite the absurdity of the character and situation. Bounce’s integrity and energy gave her youthful naivety an instantly funny complexion.
There are a few jokes that really land and make the audience lose themselves; the stupid, silly yet well thought out character of Keningale is also a light release that could balance out some darker moments to include a wider sense of humour in contemporary audiences. The later base jokes are a real laugh out loud moment and I really wished they were developed further and used to provoke more of a response from the tame audience.
The live heavy metal band consisting of: Dylan Scotcher, Mithun Shah, Peter Holland and Steve Jones complements the story really well and eliminates any opportunity for awkward pauses in between set pieces such as the questionable fight choreography.
The Milkman That Cometh is the sort of story that would make the adolescent version of yourself enjoy a silly concept with some talented comedians who will make you laugh. However, this story has been developed perhaps a little more than the quality and targeting of the jokes on a bigger scale.
The Milkman Cometh is playing the VAULT Festival until 27 February. For more information and tickets, see the VAULT Festival website.