milk and gall at the theater 503
Lait et Gall at the Théâtre 503 | Theater critic
November 10, 2021
At this age, birth is not foreign, even to men. And because of the lockdown, we’ve all been reborn as different people – people whose lives have been delayed, who are now allowed to visit the theater. Writer Mathilde Dratwa and director Lisa Spirling have also been delayed due to having children. Finalist for the 503 International Playwriting Award in 2018, Milk and Gall addresses motherhood, not only on stage, but also behind the scenes. The actors have been allowed to take their young children with them to rehearsals, and some have been allowed to leave early to collect theirs – proof that in 2021 motherhood is not an obstacle.
In 2017, Trump was elected as Vera (MyAnna Buring) gave birth in a hospital. As the rest of the planet crumbles in the wake of the businessman’s victory, baby Rod’s world is built in blissful ignorance as Vera’s partner Michael (Matt Whitchurch) lies to him on the outcome of the elections. Throughout, Buring successfully portrays a new mother whose life is turned upside down by politics, while the cast around her flawlessly flaunts the ignorance of non-parents. Vera feels truly disconnected, her only window to the outside world, the visitors she receives at the hospital, then at home.
With each actor, in addition to Buring, playing multiple roles, the diversity and versatility of the cast is showcased. Jenny Galloway is a highlight, bringing up the difference between mother and mother-in-law simply through manners, before even speaking in the basic, high-pitched mother-in-law tone, and making Michael’s mother just as boring. for the public that it is for Vera – and they only saw her for five minutes.
The story is set in New York City, not Hollywood, so the real realities of raising children are fully exposed, from uncomfortable sex to even more painful bathroom visits – everything midwives don’t tell you d ‘waiting when you expect is rightly normalized with humor. This isn’t all comedy though, as Vera’s isolation is explored in her feverish surreal dreams; even Hillary Clinton makes an appearance. Ultimately, dreams, or the times when Vera passes out from exhaustion, help her realize that winning a baby doesn’t cost an identity, although her life now revolves around something other than money. Sun. She can still attend marches, have conversations with her best friend Amira (Sherine Chalhie) and raise her child well.
Spirling and Mathilde treat Milk and Gall as one of their own descendants, nurturing him to the end. Even though we didn’t have children, the play captures the isolation in the post-Trump era, so it has something for everyone to resonate with.
Photos: Jane Hobson
Milk and Gall is at the Théâtre 503 du 3rd until November 27e November 2021. For more information or to book, visit the theater website here.