Guest Blog: Milk Presents

Inside The Labyrinth 

I am a Minotaur. I am part one thing part another. I am dangerous to those I love. 

Hello, my name is Lucy J Skilbeck and I’m one third of Milk Presents alongside Adam Robertson and Ruby Glaskin.

We’ve been locked in the labyrinth beneath Camden People’s Theatre for a week along with collaborators Saskia Solomons, Amelia Stubberfield and Lucy Jane Parkinson. It’s often the way that the space you work in seeps into the things you make, and this dark intense space got under our skin and manifested itself in our words and our work.

A maze has many entrances and possible exits, lots of dead ends to get caught up in, but on the whole your chances of getting out are fairly high. In a labyrinth there is one gap which serves as both entrance and exit – so once your in, generally you don’t come out.

This project feels a little like that. It is in many ways petrifying. And so far, many ways joyful.

We’re getting to know the residents of greek mythology pretty well, it’s like dating them- first you see them from afar or meet for the first time whilst reading someone else’s legend. You get to know them a little more, their powers and allies, and before you know it you are spell bound by Aphrodite and making a saw out of a fish’s spine with Talus. But that’s a tale for another time.

As well as mythology we’re thinking about masculinity, sculpture, cage fighting and wax. I’ve eaten more protein that I’d usually eat in a month and interval training is carving my body nicely. There’s something very more-ish about being in charge of your physical self, gently crafting your own gender, if you like.

In the afternoon’s we opened the door to anyone who fancied joining us. We’ve never worked like this before and it was both surprising and brilliant. This was inspired by going to Chris Goode’s Open House Riot, and although unlike that amazing week we didn’t have hordes of people come, we had a handful of people join us for what turned into these weirdly intense exchanges, before  parting ways. The force that is Angela Clerkin told of us her days as a punk in the 1970’s, with comedian and theatre maker Helen Duff we made one-on-one performances- including being asked to describe our genitals (which she drew) , and learnt the in’s and out’s of greek mythology with Leo Doulton.

We are showing the first manifestation of the piece on 22nd July at Derby Theatre’s Departure Lounge (which on a side note is a fabulous weekend of curated performances, workshops and talks in the heart of Darbados.

The project will kick off properly next year with two open groups- one group in Derby and one in London, open to gender fierce people who want to meet, chat, protest, play, and ultimately create our way towards a photography exhibition (working with Holly Revell, curator of transformations exhibition). The whole project will culminate in a piece of theatre, plus the photography exhibition and a new art/documentary film, which will then both tour alongside the show. That’s the plan!

It was an invaluable time and huge thanks to the team at Camden People’s Theatre for supporting and hosting us, for our mischievous collaborators Saskia Solomons, Amelia Stubberfield and Lucy Jane Parkinson, and to all guests who came to join and inspire.

And now, I’ll get back to making those wings of wax. If you’d like to say hi  – get in touch @milkpresents, @lucyjskilbeck or [email protected]