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28 Days Greater

A new digital series of performance and visual art about reclaiming the menstrual cycle as a source of power and strength. 

 

Premiering at Camden Peoples’ Theatre’s digital Calm Down Dear Festival of feminism.

Launching July, 2021

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28 Days Greater:
Cancelled, but alive and kicking

 

May 12, 2020

 

Tonight I was slated to stand up a new solo piece of work for the first time. It was a challenge I set myself at the beginning of this year: to make something on my own, something small, to write and perform with materials I already own (though…maybe I bought a big pink dress.)

 

The show, called 28 Days Greater, is a clever spoof (I thought) on the zombie apocalypse film 28 Days Later, which, when I dreamt it up in early January, had a different resonance than it does now. Intended to explore a greater balance of power between the feminine and the masculine, it proposed a deep lean into strategic hope and fecundity over chaotic fear and depravity.  Inspired by the structure of my menstrual cycle, I planned to perform 28, 2-minute vaudevillian acts of resistance against the narrative I grew up with about my period: to hide, to self-deprecate, to not be crazy on those pre-menstrual days, to not even consider the possibilities in my own natural power systems.

The generous Camden People's Theatre emailed last week to say that they had gathered together some funds from other artists earlier in the season and would be able to pay me for the one night I would have performed. 

 

£48 is the amount they will pay me.  It’s small, but it’s not. It’s groceries, or a helpful hand towards rent, and most meaningfully it’s a gesture that tells me I belong, not only to an industry, but with artist peers who have my back.  

With the  £48 I am treating myself to a small bottle of whiskey and accounting for the time I took to write the following:

It’s a start.

It’s an outline poem template for more things to come.

It’s drawn out of prioritising listening these first 8 weeks in the pandemic , and out of a longing to express different power capacities that I’ve been thinking about for the last year.

For your reading pleasure and imagination...

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  1. Be with the darkness

  2. Stay with the pain

  3. Don’t forget the backup plan

  4. Forget

  5. Then move with remembering

  6. Prepare for clarity while cocooning in a blanket, and a double whiskey.

  7. Turning point 1: Open up

  8. Call Jacinda for a chat about empathy, transparency and clear direction

  9. Notice the new things that have always been there

  10. Listen first

  11. Feel weird, be weird

  12. Dance (with ghosts or real people)

  13. Use other metaphors besides war to discuss struggle

  14. Turning point 2: Sweat with Jane Fonda and discuss protest culture    

  15. Bloody marys for all who want them

  16. Fly on a bicycle with Nina Simone

  17. Fly in writing

  18. Fly in a new contraption of your own design

  19. Cook gratuitously for the people that matter here and now

  20. Believe in the power of small and regular

  21. Turning point 3: Fall and be aware of the fall; this temporary out of body-ness is temporary. Everything moves. Including anxiety and fear. 

  22. Fail. Admit failure. Take time to be with failure for yourself.
    It’s longer than you’ll end up recounting to someone else.

  23. Eat the whole thing

  24. Live in between and be many

  25. Contradict yourself

  26. Call mom, remember she’s got the right advice even though it comes from a place she knows differently than you.

  27. Be with the rage, the judgement, the fear, and the tender soft gentle spirit that needs your attention right now and try not to blame it on others.

  28. Turning point 4: Lie down. Let down your guard. Stop.

  29. (sometimes) it’ll come. Or it won’t, and then you’ll devise a new plan
     

Back to 1: Repeat, but with more knowledge than you had the last time, even if you can't feel it.