Milk (3 stars)

Ross Dunsmore's biting play about food and the body feels over-nourished with ideas


There are so many issues piled into Ross Dunsmore's 85-minute play about food and the body it is hard to know where to begin dissecting them. Female body-anxieties, leaked sex tapes, mass production of food, scarcity of food, the inability to breastfeed: the biggest drawback of this sharply written piece is there is enough material for a six-part drama series, rather than an hour-and-a-half play.

Three generations are presented in stories that touch like Tetris blocks rather than knot together. Teenagers Steph and Ash are flirting but her body issues come up against his shyness, couple Danny and Nicole are having their first baby, and in the most poignantly written and sensitively performed tale, Cyril and May live out their final memories, including a touching make-believe banquet of Sunday roast.

There are so many brilliant lines in Dunsmore's script, but the over-reliance on bathos – for instance, Steph's fevered plea of 'I don't know what you want' being followed by the response 'Nando's' – means that wit often replaces deeper investigations of the various moral and emotional conundrums.

It is a shame, because the cast perform with tightness and brio, and the threads come together in an implausible but beautifully conceived ending.

Traverse, until 28 Aug (not 22), times vary, £20.50 (£8.50–£15.50).


  • 3 stars

Traverse Theatre Company Three couples struggle to meet their basic needs for food, love and survival. As they try to make sense of a changing world, their inner desires and appetites become driving forces that could lead to either catastrophe or redemption. Funny, dark and provocative, Milk explores the universal need…


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