Review | Kieran Eaton
It is understandable to have an aversion to blood but menstrual blood is confusing because it is needed for healthy reproduction. Is it maybe the ignorance and lack of care for those experiencing it that creates a fear of having to deal with it? This ignorance has hardly changed over the years and especially as a man I can attest to living in fearful ignorance! Are we all a bit confused? How do we deal with something that should be taken more seriously? Hey! Precious tackle this taboo subject with a combination of humour and realness. It’s directed by a deep thinker in Michelle Aitken who is a natural at creating pieces of work that make you want to know more.
Menstruation is the main issue dealt with in this surreal theatrical piece but Unrule also deals in general how women’s bodily issues are made out to be imagined. This is not an easy message to push – especially to those who have it easy, thus the imagery needs to be graphic to almost absurd levels! As the show goes on, you can hear more and more heart, including a personal tale from the director told by a performer. It is a crazy journey you go on, watching this production and still there is enough focus to give it some good punch.
Every line in this show is thoughtfully used with the best one of, “Just take a Panadol” repeated throughout that emphasises how we can laugh at how stupid that statement is. There are many metaphors that not all may get (including myself) – however this highlights the lack of honesty and empathy in the world of menstruation. The dark, and slightly creepy set created in the Blue Room Theatre sets the tone subtly of how society has judged women to be witches, if their body does not function how ‘men’ expect it to be. With lack of help from others we often get the wrong answers, so even Google cannot help you! The only issue the Googled information about medical concerns is that from the back you had to take the word that what was being said was there as the projection could have been bigger. This is only minor as all the performers deliver vocally with true credibility – even while weird hair monsters are parading around!
Each actor creates a feel not just telling their story but showing in a manner that is sincere and yet humorous. Nothing is predictable in what you see and so be prepared to be open minded. From comical wig use to a scene in the bath, this production is still clever in not overusing props. The performers, Chelsea Gibson, Mani Mae Gomes, Alicia Osyka, and Rhiannon Petersen were all part of the devising and you could clearly see this as their personalities shine through.
In the end you get the picture that Unrule breaks all the rules, in typical Aitken style that makes you share your knowledge or lack of knowledge about the perceived scary menstrual blood – with an amazing combination of style and delivery of a hugely important topic!
WHEN: 28 May – 15 June 2019 | 7:00pm
WHERE: The Blue Room Theatre | Northbridge
INFO: Tickets $20 – $30 | Duration 75 mins | Relaxed Performance Tuesday 11 June | Warnings: Adult Concepts, Nudity, Strobe Lighting