I wish I had seen this show when I was 11. I got my first period in a McDonald’s bathroom the night before my first day at my new school. I dreaded the next day. My pad felt like a big nappy and I thought everyone could tell I was wearing one. Amy Atkins and Ephemeral Theatre presents period., a charming one woman show that magically captures the struggles of dealing with your first period. It’s funny, interactive and educational. period.’s mission is to empower young girls and stop period shaming. And I loved it!
It’s Karla’s birthday and she a has a surprise present: her period. She also has a huge wrapped present that temptingly sits centre stage. The authoritative “Mum” voice over eventually allows the eager Klara to open her present. “The Hall of the Mountain King” plays as Klara gleefully tears the red wrapping paper and discovers a huge box full of feminine hygiene paraphernalia. Klara excitedly showers the black box theatre in tampons, pad, cups, and undies. She investigates her new toys with hilarious enthusiasm. Tampons are mistaken for lollipops and pads are used as futuristic armour. I loved seeing these items used in such an absurd but positive way. It felt like a big “fuck you” to the high schools boys that would hysterically throw unused tampons across the room as if they were bombs.
Atkins conveys curious Klara with a sweet naivety. She is super fun to watch and skillfully controls the audience interaction parts. Atkins is also an amazing puppet master. Incredibly constructed vulvas march across the stage. Other smaller puppets were intricately crafted out of feminine hygiene projects. I wish I could watch the show with its target/younger audience and hear their laughter at these outrageous puppets.
An ensemble of new voices overs share their personal period experiences while Atkins dances with the tampon puppets. They highlight how everyone feels uncomfortable with this change and inspired me to share my story here.
period. isn’t interested in the science behind menstruation, but rather educates the audience on how to deal with this big change. I learnt a new way to fold my menstrual cup which I can’t wait to try next month. This show would also be a great space to highlight that not every woman bleeds, that that is a completely normal thing too.
The show was incredibly successful in its mission to educate on and celebrate “that time of the month.” I did wonder if there would be more development of the off-stage brother character. Would Klara share her new secret with him and boast about her change?
Girls have been menstruwaiting too long for a show like this. I was very excited to hear that period. Is going to be toured around schools. If you are involved with a school that needs this kind of creative representation contact Ephemeral Theatre here.
This review was published on Art Murmurs