Screening of a filmed live performance of a play about menopause, followed by Q/A.
Most women who have yet to experience the menopause know little about what to expect, how they might be affected in both mind and body, how friends, family, co-workers and medical practitioners might support them, or not. It is still whispered with embarrassment by women who are sweatily going through it. It still prompts disdainful comments from co-workers joking about ‘the change’. Women’s descriptions of their symptoms are still dismissed by GPs who ignore their lived experience and instead, prescribe antidepressants.
Stand by your fan tackles these issues in a provocative but humorous way and draws on the testimonies of women from Newcastle and Makerere who participated in a series of workshops about the menopause in all its colours and hues. It aims to raise awareness about the menopause journey and the many different ways in which women experience it, and discusses how small changes in attitudes and in workplace cultures can make a big difference, not just to the lives of women but to everyone.
In screening this film (of the play) to a public audience, we want to both raise awareness of menopause but also to explore the power and effectiveness of dealing with controversial or taboo topics through the medium of participatory, community-based theatre. Importantly, what other contexts and topics could benefit from taking this kind of creative approach and how could organisations be supported to develop their own performances? We don’t have the answers but hope that the discussion after the screening might generate some interesting ideas to take forward.
Stand by your fan was directed by Tracy Gillman, written by JoJo Kirtley & Karen Ross and produced by Workie Ticket Theatre CIC. It was performed by a community cast, led by professional actor, Lynne Romartinez -Stutt and the single performance which took place on 13 July 2023 was filmed.
The play was funded by Newcastle University and supported by the National Innovation Centre for Ageing.
The event will be led by Prof Karen Ross who was the PI on the research project on which the play draws.
The event is open to anyone with an interest in knowing more about menopause because it affects so many more people than *only* menopausal women.
It should be of interest to managers and employers who would like to make changes to support menopausal women but are not sure where to start, as well as women who have yet to start their menopausal journey and want to have a better sense of what they could expect.