FRINGE REVIEW: My Greatest Period Ever
I’ve never associated periods with greatness. For me, personally, it used to mean becoming very well-acquainted with my toilet bowl as I faced off for my monthly pain-induced vomathon. It doesn’t feel very great — in fact my partner refers to my period as ‘the bad time’.
“Is the bad time over?” he asks, wide-eyed and tentative.
From a young age we’re taught that menstruation is an icky, vulgar time that we should go to great lengths to conserve under the banner of secret women’s business. Tampon ads teach us that with the wonders of modern sponge-innovation we could be wearing white hot pants at this point in our cycle. Lucy Peach thinks this is bullshit.
There are 3.5 billion women in the world; most of whom are pedalling through life on a little thing called the menstrual cycle. There are also around 3.5 billion men who could probably be served to learn a thing or two about the cyclic dance of hormones women go through every 28 days or so. My Greatest Period Ever is a fun, interactive, multimedia workshop that seeks to teach us how to ride the tide of hormones to a safer shore. Our red-jumpsuit-donned revelatory tutor, Peach, spun a warm and safe cocoon of joy through casual conversation, relatable anecdotes and gorgeous ukulele ballads. The heartfelt camaraderie of not just sisterhood but humanhood was tangible as the audience shared in one horizon-expanding A-Ha moment after another.
The men of the audience were commended for being truly ‘evolved’; being accompanied by a marvellous male who loved the show, I can attest to this. In fact, in many ways man-power added a lot to the experience. Throughout the show, Lucy’s teachings were accompanied by sweet and supportive live doodling from Mr Peach which served to consolidate key messages and enhance the laughs. For the ladies, Peach provided fruitful bounty for volunteers willing to represent the stages. I won’t reveal much but capes were involved.
Part of what makes the show so fun and educational is the discarding of words like ‘luteal’ and ‘follicular’ which would flood the message with unnecessary jargon and send most people running for cover. Used instead are glorious metaphors (e.g. ‘biological verge collection’) and understandable phases (reflective, dynamic, expressive and creative), adapted from the book The Optimized Woman, to communicate what it means to be a woman in the 21st century.
Peach so concisely put into words the sentiment behind using the word ‘emotional’ as an insult. Our world is tailored to being static. We congratulate the steady and continuous, we’re confronted by flux. But as Lucy Peach so lucidly sang to life the essence of each hormonal phase, I realised: it doesn’t have to be that way. Let us welcome a new dawn of optimized women and men who understand what makes them tick. And let that dawn be red.
4.5/5 tampons in a time of dire need
My Greatest Period Ever is playing at the Flaming Locomotive AGWA Driver Room as a part of Perth Fringe Festival on Thursday the 9th, Friday the 10th and Saturday the 11th of February.
A Share the Dignity donation box will be present at all shows so make sure to bring along sanitary products for at-risk and homeless women!