Welcome to the ladies room, a sacred space where ‘friendships are formed, secrets are shared, and girls poo’. Don’t be fooled, Flushed is so much more than an exploration of lavatory dramatics, it’s a highly evocative and deeply affected production that will change how you see yourself, your loved ones, and the theatre itself.
Theatre Unlocked is a Manchester-based theatre company, and Flushed is their debut production, with a previously successful run at Manchester’s 53Two. Flushed follows the misadventures of two inseparable sisters, Marnie and Jen, who we are only granted limited access to when they convene in some sort of restroom together: puking in a club, getting ready for a date, trying to take a hot bath, or—you guessed it—pooing. But when Marnie suddenly realises that she’s late, her life drastically takes a sharp detour down the road of Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI), or Premature Menopause. This rather unknown condition creeps between the two sisters, and tests the strength of their loyal bond.
I very much looked forward to this production, as I had the chance to interview playwright Catherine Cranfield before the Fringe—but I had not anticipated just how affected, or blown-away, I could be by this breathtaking new masterpiece. Cranfield has a winner with this ptoduction. The entire production is perfectly balanced, from an expertly crafted script to the impeccable chemistry of leads Iona Champain and Georgia Phillips, to the graceful and energetic direction. The relationship between the sisters is authentic and enviable, as the play itself moves like a freight train: pushing and pulling you forward, both mentally and emotionally. Flushed approaches a rather unknown topic through the dynamic between these two sisters brilliantly; it feels both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.
Flushed poses a thoughtful inquiry: whether women are safe, and how, if not, we can be certain of safety? POI, as explored within the play, affects women under 40, even many “as young as 11 years old”. Theatre Unlocked is working closely with the Daisy Charity, the only network today that deals with POI awareness.
A groundbreaking theatrical experience, Flushed is a show you absolutely cannot afford to miss.
Underbelly, Cowgate – Venue 61
Photo Credit: Theatre Unlocked