Amy Atkins’
The Darkroom

Review date: 11/10/2018

I know Amy, the writer, director and performer of this play about menstruation.  We’ve been in a writer’s group together and she pops up all over the place in different creative roles.  Despite this, I felt like her show Period. was going to be bloody disgusting and very awkward.  The marketing material was enough to make even the most experienced bleeders look twice in shock.  Wow, I was exhausted that night and I hoped I wouldn’t have to sit there for too long because I was worried I might fall asleep.

I should have had more faith in Amy because she revealed an incredible depth of skill in her ‘World Premiere’ of this show.  It was bloody fantastic!  Amy played Karla, an innocent eleven-year-old girl coming to terms with getting her period for the first time.  Karla’s role is all mimed.  That might sound boring, but Amy actually made me realise how much lazier an actor could be when they rely on dialogue to act out their role. Her expressions and character were absolutely delightful, perfectly capturing the innocence and confusion of a child discovering new things. Karla’s mother is all dialogue and no acting—this role is voiced by Amy too.  Karla’s mother—delivered like an omniscient being from the sound system—talks Karla through the changes her body is experiencing. There are some hilarious, and some very touching moments.  It was heartening to hear so many males in the crowd laughing uproariously, I thought they were brave to even come along but after seeing the show it is obvious that you don’t need to have ovaries to enjoy the show.

There were a plethora of great props which I am not going to go into detail about here because some things just have to remain a surprise and my descriptions will not do them the justice they deserve.  There’s some excellent skills displayed with puppetry too, and if Amy created all those things she deserves a bloody award.  What surprised me the most was how ‘not gross’ it was.  Her particular mixture of child-like curiosity, play, and honesty dealt with what is usually a hidden and taboo subject in a very tidy way.  I didn’t leave feeling dirty and horrified, I left feeling so astonished and happy at what a fun show I had just seen.  I personally think this show should travel round the country being shown at schools because it is a brilliant, funny, non-awkward way to talk about a bloody annoying topic.

I think Amy might have worked long and hard on this project.  She seems to have thought of every little detail.  Her acting skills were exceptional and her connection with the audience incredibly natural and relaxed.  You could say it simply flowed beautifully. I’d like to take my daughters to it but its short run here is already finished.  We can only hope it comes back for a second showing, maybe on a monthly cycle….

This was top notch.  I’m proud to have been at the ‘World Premiere’ of Amy Atkins’ Period.

This review was published on


Palmy Fringe 2018

at The Dark Room, Cnr Pitt and Church Street, Palmerston North
From 11 Oct 2018 to 12 Oct 2018
[45 mins]

Reviewed by Alexandra Bellad-Ellis, 12 Oct 2018…

Period follows the story of 11 year old Karla, who has her period for the first time and is finding the whole thing quite confusing. She’s learning about pads, tampons, menstrual cups and all the other things that go along with that time of the month (including an extraordinary range of slang).

Using everything from voice overs, puppetry, and instructional demonstrations with the audience (everyone gets a menstrual cup on the way in), Amy Atkins shares Karla’s experience with us.

Hysterically funny in places and beautiful in others, Amy gives a stellar performance. The puppetry is particularly captivating. And this is not just a play for women, there were many men in the audience enjoying the performance. This really is a lovely piece of theatre, cleverly written and beautifully presented.

This review was published on theatreview.


Every MyCup arrives in an eco envelope—eco-warrior tick! The cups I received were a sample set designed to be in shops so people can see and feel the cups before they buy. This means the cups I tried had an extra hole punched into them where the metal chain links the cups together—remember this…

MyCup has a unique bell-shape design to better sit inside the vaginal canal. They are meant to prevent tipping offering a leak free cycle! This was rather exciting news as I have had leaking with some cups…

I am not a beginner but definitely not a cup maestro! I have used cups for five previous cycles. My vagina and I are on speaking terms, to say the least. For this cycle, I only used cups for the 2, 3 and 4 days of menses.

Day Two. A hot shower. A clean Size 2 MyCup. The classic C Fold…. good lord it’s huge! I would not suggest a C Fold with the Size 2 MyCup. The entry point is rather large due to the robust rim of the cup, designed to offer a supreme suction. I used a Punchdown Fold instead, which has a smaller entry point but still allows the cup to pop open when inserted. The medical grade silicone cup inserted with ease. It sits nicely just inside your canal and a few pulls of the toggle helps to create the seal. Bloody easy!

Side note: If the toggle sticks outside of your vaginal opening you can cut one, two or all three of the little beads off to make it more comfortable—only when it’s outside your vagina!

8-hours later… supreme suction—tick! If, like me, your vaginal muscles enjoy devouring your cup and taking it deep into your nether regions you will need to work a bit to get it out. A combination of pushing with my vaginal muscles, pulling on the toggle, and then eventually pinching the base of the cup to release the suction worked fine. But this is normal for me. The design detail on the base of the menstrual cup offers a graspable surface perfect for removing the cup. The bead design toggle is slightly harder to grip than other cups I’ve tried but all in all, this cup is easy to insert and easy to remove.

Sleeping with the MyCup was great. I couldn’t feel it and I didn’t leak!

Day Three I used the Size 1 cup for my lighter flow. I wore it for approx. 8 hours. After such a long duration I do expect cups to disappear inside my vagina. So, I was prepared for how far up the cup would be… but I wasn’t prepared for how strongly it would have suctioned!

Remember the extra hole punched into these sample cups I mentioned earlier? Turns out they offer extra suction on top of the suction already provided by the rim of the cup and the tiny suction holes of the cup—typical of menstrual cups.

Picture this hyperbole…

Your right hand is elbow deep inside your vaginal canal. You are attempting to drag a menstrual cup from your bloody nether region. The tiny cup refuses to let go of your cervix. It’s stuck. You’re fucked! You freak out in the shower for twenty minutes dreaming up other ways to get this cup out. You consider waiting until you have a mystic birth and let the baby pop the cup out for you. You consider sitting on a vacuum cleaner and sucking the cup out along with your self-destructive uterus. And you consider reading the cup feminist children’s stories until it feels empowered enough to make it on its own and crawls out of your vagina. Knock! Knock!

“You done yet?” Your feminist flatmate | partner | lover calls out.

Ah, ha! It occurs to you that it never occurred to you to just ask for help!

“Hey…” you yell over the thunderous shower, “can you help me?”

The door whooshes open in a gust of golden dust!

“Cup conjurer,” they announce, “is here to help!” They remove their jumper in one swift motion—a risky act to do in the third week of June in your Wellington flat—and roll up their right sleeve, because they too are statistically likely to be right-handed, and take a knee. You open the shower door.

“Are you ready?” your cup conjurer asks.

“You have my full consent,” you say. Your Cup Conjurer gently slides an index finger and thumb into your vaginal canal—not sexually—and tries to find the cup.

“I’ve got it” they say, you sigh relief. You start pushing and they start pulling… then all at once “Pop!” goes the cup and blood cascades over you both with such a force it covers the walls in a thick slick. Victorious! You embrace, covered in blood, clots, and discharge. Bloody brilliant.

Despite the cup crisis, I will definitely use MyCup Size 2 for another cycle! As for Size 1… it will be sterilised and kept in the Menstrual Toolkit. Some cups will just not be suited to your particular vaginal canal.