Monday, 6 June 2016

Dramaturging the Adult: Split Milk @ Tron

Spilt Milk presents
16-18 JUNE 2016, 8PM

Adulting (verb): To adult. To do something one would expect an adult to do. To behave in the way one would expect you to when you are an adult.

Twenty-five. Quarter of a century years old. I am happily engaged, have a down payment on a two-bed and a glamorous job that takes me from country to country. 

Oh and I have one pet. Aged ten, this is how I say my future. In reality, I live at home and have yet to find my soulmate. I attempt to bake. I often date. And I sometimes frequent DIY stores. 

All before another glass of wine. These are the little ways I try to feel like an adult. I know there are pros and cons to being this age, I just haven’t found out what the pros are yet.
What was the inspiration for this performance?
We are all at the age now where as a concept “adulting” is summed up by where we and our friends are at in life. These big milestones that we are all supposed to be hitting are forced down our throats from society and our success rate determines how we well we are succeeding as an adult. For us, this is an issue and as we discuss in the piece, we feel these boxes are not what determine your worth or how well this generation is going to do in life.

“Adulting” as a term in itself has only really come to the forefront of pop culture in the last year or so, which is why we thought it would be interesting to explore such a subject whilst it is still in its infancy – pun intended.

How did you go about gathering the team for it?
Spilt Milk formed in 2014 off the back of the Tron Theatre’s Commonwealth Home nations event. We all performed in  Under Milk Wood which led to a small group of us realizing we work well together and have an interest in making the same kind of work. Since our first performance in march last year, the company has reduced in size and is now made up of four members, all of whom have worked together for years.

It was the natural decision for us to devise and perform in our next project, as our chemistry and history lend themselves to the devising process. In addition to this we all have performance backgrounds.

How did you become interested in making performance in the first place - does it hold any particular qualities that other media don't have?
All of us have been through the Youth Theatre process as a participant in some shape or form. We all enjoy performing and over the last decade have honed our skills. Many of us work within the industry and so feel we have a good critical eye that can be put towards making our own work.

We think seeing live performance is necessary in life as it gives you a completely different experience to other forms of entertainment. It’s a much more intimate setting and allows people to connect to each other at new levels. Other forms of entertainment can offer a degree of this however I think from our experience, it’s vital that people experience theatre as nothing else quite offers this level of emersion.

Was your process typical of the way that you make a performance?
In short, yes. We all come from a devising background and despite this only being Spilt Milk’s second production under this guise, the four of us have made and devised shows together in other contexts. For us, our formula is tried and tested. For others it may be viewed as too relaxed or they may think we spend too long on researching aspects of what we want to make – these are real comments I have heard.

But for us, it works. There is many reasons for this. First off our relationship with each other. Our level of familiarity has allowed us to develop a great shorthand with each other. Equally there is little to no conflict as each member of the group feels entirely comfortable both praising and criticizing each other. We have a very natural process with each other and making this performance was no different.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?
Our aim for this performance is to let the audience into our heads at the age of 25. Many of them will have experienced what we are going through and many of them won't yet have reached this transitional stage. Much of what we are exploring is specific to this day and age and we want to let the audience in on what that feels like. This piece of work has been designed to encourage the audience to ask and answer the questions we raise within it.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?
To quote our show, “We made a questionnaire, we spoke to people, we tweeted, we social media’d a lot. Sometimes, it was just someone saying something really smart to us in a bar. Wise random strangers at bars are modern day Oracles of Delphi, except drunk and sometimes leaving abruptly when it is their turn for karaoke.”

From the off, we knew we wanted to put as much research into this show as possible. This is why at the beginning of the process we devised a questionnaire and our Adulting List. This gave us a great starting point and sparked some really interesting conversations.

Do you see your work within any particular tradition?
In basic terms, this is very much a coming of age piece. It shows how generation Y, no longer have the same strict milestones that our parents and their parents alike so easily achieved on their route to adulthood.

Are there any other questions I ought to ask that might help me to understand the meaning of dramaturgy for you in your work?

Truthfully no. As a company we use dramaturgy in its purest form. We have explained how we work in previous questions and the only way to fully grasp our process would be to be a part of it. The end result shows aspects of this but the process is a performance in itself.

Tony’s quarter life crisis included bleaching his hair then shaving his head circa Britney 2007; Grant rescued all his old toys and gave them refuge in his room to prevent Toy Story 3 from happening for real; Jacqueline wanted to join a band, buy a Vespa and move to New Orleans whilst Catherine watched Clueless every day for a month...

Spilt Milk juxtapose their ten-year old selves viewpoint with the sometimes depressing reality of what being twenty-five actually involves, in a funny and irreverent exploration of ‘adult’ life.
Running time: approx. 70 mins (no interval)

Venue: Changing House, Tron Theatre, 63 Trongate, Glasgow G1 5HB Dates: 16-18 June 2016, 8pm Tickets: £10 (£7.50) Box Office: 0141 552 4267 or


Spilt Milk is a four-piece devising theatre company established in 2014. Their debut production, The Love Sect, was performed in March 2015 as part of the Tron Theatre’s Football Colours Allowed season, a week that focused on the topics surrounding sectarianism and social division.

By gathering stories, anecdotes and experiences, the company weaves them through their work to created fiction from non-fiction with the aim of encouraging non theatre-goers to experience theatre. Pulling on the different backgrounds and experiences of the four members, Spilt Milk explore universal themes and social commentary in an imaginary world.

1 comment :

  1. This place is absolutely gorgeous, beautiful and stunning. Even though a few halls are equally appealing and fascinating in their decor, food and aesthetics, I'm tempted to still give this venue Houston a slight edge.