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L to R: Monica Bradford-Lea & Lauren Welchner. Photo: Evan Welchner.

Fringe Review: A Period Piece

By Kate Carmanico on June 15, 2019

A Period Piece
by Lauren Welchner and Monica Bradford-Lea (Spicy Day)
55 min / 14+ / Comedy

Lauren Welchner and Monica Bradford-Lea of Ottawa-based theatre company Spicy Day return to the Fringe with a new agenda: Tear down the stigma surrounding periods. An honest and ongoing exploration, the 55-minute performance is a whirlwind of storytelling, song, an interactive game show, a sex ed class and a dance party.

Lauren and Monica are the first to admit it: Talking about your period can feel awkward, scary, and uncomfortable. But they’re on a mission to celebrate their womanhood and they’re jumping in with both feet.

When did tampons become the sexy menstrual product? How come dick doodles are everywhere in sight, but most people couldn’t draw a vagina if they tried?

The 55-minute performance is a whirlwind of storytelling, song, an interactive game show, a sex ed class and a dance party.

The two female artists break the ice with their own middle-school secrets, setting the tone for the rest of the performance and inviting the audience to step outside their comfort zone. And it works. By the time they open the floor for discussion, anyone who’s ever had a period is itching to share their story, or at least thinking about it. Monica says it best—nothing brings people together like a common enemy.

Between the laughs, they also take the time to address some important global issues surrounding period poverty and the repercussions of stigmatizing menstruation, including barriers to education. As part of their efforts, Spicy Day has partnered with and is collecting funds for @periodpacks613, an emerging local organization fighting period poverty by providing people in Ottawa with access to menstrual products.

As someone who gets her period, this show resonated with both my Grade 9 and current selves. If you’re someone who’s never had to ask your dad to buy you maxi pads with wings, you might not laugh for the same reasons, but you’ll still find it funny. Plus, you might find out a thing or two about the week that must not be named.


A Period Piece by Lauren Welchner and Monica Bradford-Lea is playing at LabO (10 Daly Ave) until Saturday, June 22, 2019. Tickets cost $12 online (plus a $2 processing fee) and at the door. Visit ottawafringe.com for the schedule and box office info. Read more reviews at apt613.ca/fringe.

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