Review: Cyst-er Act at Edinburgh Fringe 2019
Review: Cyst-er act at the Edinburgh Fringe 2019
Words: Monica Martins
Pictures: Kat Dlugosz
Wombs. Gynaecology. Female bodies. Perimenopause. Polycystic fibrosis.
How much do we know about this? How much do we speak about it? How much do we share? And how uncomfortable does this make us feel when someone speaks about all we have and all that happens down there, inside us?
Catherine Hoffmann and the ‘Poly-cisters’ present us with a raw, powerful, visually impressive and stimulating show, based on Hoffmann’s own experience of having her ovary and fallopian tube cut off. She kept a diary where she wrote her thoughts around illness, sexuality and ageing. And she interviewed other women who had this same experience.
I am about to hit my 40’s. I already notice the effects of ageing. The changes in my body. My hormones screaming out for babies and getting upset because of it. The effect all this has in my mental health. So much of the show is relatable, and I can see so much of it coming on for me.
How does it feel to give birth to a 10lb cyst baby? How much do we hear about the effect of these experiences in women’s lives? How much do we speak about the complexity involving female reproductive organs and mental health?
The show is also about sharing, recovering and healing, and focuses on topics that we need to speak about openly, shout about it, and make more visible. We shouldn’t be ashamed of talking about it. Hoffmann articulates her ideas in an intelligent, colourful and even provocative way. Hoffmann is punk, loud, fierce, honest, and she’s not afraid of expressing how she felt about this experience. Her performance captures the audience’s attention and helps them reflect on body policing issues women face every single day.
You won’t be indifferent to this show. For me, personally, it is one of the treasures of this year’s Fringe.
“This is an attempt at healing – allowing women’s health, our bodies and our knowledge both internally and externally, more visibility.” – Catherine Hoffmann
You have only from the 20th to the 25th to see the show. It’s on at 12:05 at the Summerhall.
Go and see it. Listen. Absorb. Speak out, without fear, like Catherine.
Trailer (MATURE): https://vimeo.com/325430792
For press enquiries, contact Catherine Hoffmann on 07720 758152 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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