A condition not widely discussed and little known, Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) impacts roughly 1 in 100 women under aged 40yrs and 1 in 1000 womenunder aged 30yrs, the condition also referred to as the Early Menopause – the Menopause typically experienced by women aged 50 and over, the Early Menopause by those aged under 45yrs and POI by those under 40yrs. As an ambassador of The Daisy Network, a charity run by volunteers committed to educating all on the condition, as well as creating a space for those impacted by it, Catherine Cranfield presents Flushed, a heart warming tale of sisterhood, womanhood and coming to terms with receiving a diagnosis of POI.
A sharp, sleek production solely staged in an array of toilet cubicles, Flushed takes the charm of the weird and wonderful conversations had in these environments and places them centrestage. These often understated, yet eventful parts of a night out a staple, and the most memorable. Demystifying POI, and very importantly, opening up the conversation on women’s health, the production endearingly presents the bond between siblings Jen and Marnie, played wonderfully by Iona Champain and Elizabeth Hammerton. Marnie, the older sibling navigating her unpredictable love life, Jen the younger sibling, a free, independent spirit determined on pursuing a career in the acting world. We hear of unsuccessful first dates, career prospects and the concerns that both have with their health. The piece aptly filled with plenty of toilet humour, tackling the topic of POI in a casual yet considered manner, making the piece very relatable.
Flushed is a frank, funny meditation on women’s health. No holds barred, the show crafts a safe environment for all to start thinking about their own health. Watching the pair grapple Marnie’s diagnosis is an important moment, for a condition little known, we hear of Marnie’s confusion and uncertainty of what to do next, and dealing with it at a young age, this dispelling any preconceptions had of the menopause, which we’d usually associate with women over the age of 50, and for this Flushed has to be commended. There’s a sense of normality established in terms of having these types of conversations, and hopefully one, in time, that’ll just become common place. The show encouraging an openness and challenging attitudes, this testament to writer and director Cranfield, who is able to take this heavy topic and present the complexity of grasping this new reality. An important show raising awareness.
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
Flushed is currently showing until Saturday 6th November 2021 at the Park Theatre. To find out more about the production, visit here…