In this episode Bonnie and Andrea chat to feminist folk-pop singer/songwriter and menstruation guru Lucy Peach. A former phlebotomist, trained human biology teacher and sexual health worker, Lucy has harnessed her scientific wisdom with her musical talent to create the award-winning show My Greatest Period Ever. Teaching period-havers everywhere how getting to know your cycle can improve your life, Lucy is as much an educator as she is an entertainer, and vice versa.
Opening with the story of her own first period, Lucy shares her own beginnings as the eldest of six children. Lucy shares how her Mum provided an incredible example of self-care, and making time and space for herself to rest even while raising six children mostly on her own. She shares how blood has been a recurrent theme in her life- from the DNA test used to find her biological father, to growing up and working as a phlebotomist, and finally, becoming the passionate menstruation ambassador she is today.
Lucy shares how being turned down for a choir temporarily diverted her from music and towards a career in science, before becoming a mother gave her the fearlessness to give singing another try. She shares how prioritising connection with the audience helps her overcome any self-consciousness or nerves. Connection is a driving force for Lucy, and in her show My Greatest Period Ever, she aims to help people connect with their own menstrual cycles, and each other.
Lucy explains to Bonnie and Andrea the four different stages of the menstrual cycle, and how, like the four seasons, certain stages are better for different things. For example, in winter, as Bonnie puts it, you don’t organise any picnics (winter, in this case, beginning the first day one bleeds). Lucy shares how the different stages are different for everyone. They typically last a week but can vary. And while one person might enjoy their energetic, productive post-menstrual phase, another mind find it overwhelming. And while some may enjoy the ‘do your own thing’ vibe of the pre-menstrual phase, others may find it draining.
Lucy shares how her long-standing passion for periods became an award-winning show. After a friend heard her discussing her own cycle and suggested she use it as material for a show, so began a journey that would help people talk about their periods, help them connect with their own cycle, and feel more in tune with their own bodies. Lucy also reveals how the show has resonated with men, and how male members of the audience have expressed to her a greater understanding of their partners, family members and friends.
Lucy’s journey through the worlds of science and art and ultimate marriage of the two is, like her show, as enlightening as it is entertaining. Above all, Lucy teaches us that connection with and acceptance of oneself is key. She also has some valuable advice for young performers: enjoy yourself, start and don’t stop. Life-changing wisdom for menstruators and non-menstruators alike.