“A Splash of Milk” is like a kiki in your friend’s bedroom. You know, the classic: you laugh, gossip, exchange Grindr/dating stories. It’s all fun and games until you realise that your dating experience may be quite similar… Except you were never called a racist remark on a date. And yeah, no one really cancelled on you just because “oh I thought you were a Latino”.
It’s a show with lots of potential but the delivery needs a bit of work to truly become a 5* show (it’s close though).
Sami Sumaria creates a fun, light monologue that’s both relatable and shocking. Quirky dating stories are always a solid fringe material, but here they stir one’s soul differently.
We join Sunny (the main character) as they talk about their Indian/Pakistani family and heritage, and how it made their dating experience so different. Their fabulous family was open and accepting when they came out, and their mom becomes a nice little guest in the performance, interrupting the monologue with the classic “do you need anything?” and “love you, Son”.
Then we dive deeper into the gay dating scene, which is not as respectful and open as most of us think. As Sunny sums up, most of the guys on the apps are white, cis gays, and being a person of colour leads to some stereotype-based encounters.
The play is not fully dating-focused. We hear about the Muslim grandparents who “know but just don’t touch the subject” of their grandson’s sexuality. We listen to the story of a class trip to Central America and Sunny being held at the US border as the only one out of his classmates (wonder why…Ehhh).
We spend enough time with them to just really start feeling empathetic and hoping that after all this crap, Sunny will finally at least have a good time dating. It’s both annoying and disappointing to see that even the LGBTQ+ community still divides people into “these” and “those”, white and “others”.
Simple staging (just an armchair and some typical bedroom mess on the floor) focuses full attention on Sami. I was a little taken aback by the presence of the script in their hands. While having so much spotlight, keeping a paper in one’s hands blocks the body language and makes it difficult for the audience to truly 100% immerse in the story – even if the said script is rarely used. One more issue I’ve had was the length of the show – with barely 40 minutes, I feel like it could be extended by another 10 minutes, to give an even stronger emotional layer to it.
This is a must-watch if you have a friend who considers themselves a member of the LGBTQ+ group and a person of colour. Or even if you just consider yourself an ally. It’s an eye-opening and hurtful show at the same time. You will laugh but also wonder how come the word “respect” still means so little nowadays. Because it’s about the little things, that you might not even realise are painful, that may hurt someone you meet. An insightful and unnerving show.
A Splash of Milk by Pink Milk Theatre
13-14 August 2022
I attended the show on a PR invite. All opinions are my own.
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