Last night, my vagina had a moment. It was put in the spotlight - acknowledged, laughed at, sympathised with – really just given some pubic attention it’s not had before.
A second 'cumming' of the sell-out 2016 season of Flaps (sadly their joke not mine), Flaps Retouched, produced by Bits and Pieces Ensemble and directed by Torum Heng, opened last week at The Basement Theatre.
Poor time management and student debt meant I never got to see the first season of Flaps, so while I can’t really comment on any improvements or cuts, I did enter their oestrogen filled set up with fresh eyes and an open mind.
Flaps Retouched, created and curated by Emily Campbell and Brie Hill, nails its intimate staging. Audiences line the walls, seated on couches or mattresses and eating marshmallows. Shortly after we made ourselves cosy on a front and centre mattress, my friends and I were tucked in under a sheet. Lovely. Only one other group was also tucked in, which made me feel special but also slightly concerned. Turned out the sheet came into play during one of the multiple relatable skits, when the impressive Emily Campbell frantically sprinted around the stage grabbing pillows and sheets for her presumably cramping and gushing vagina.
Flaps Retouched consists of many recognisable subjects like these. From discharge to stained panties and popping your cherry to regular masturbation, Flaps Retouched doesn’t really leave any topic, aptly, untouched. There’s no one thread of structured thought, but a rather entirely visceral vaginal experience.
The cast of Flaps Retouched work well together. Some of the acting doesn’t feel super polished – much like my cycle, things aren’t perfectly synced up – but maybe that’s part of the point. One standout is Frith Horan, whose sassy attitude and consistent performance almost has me buying the UTIs and thrush she’s selling (literally).
Flaps Retouched is pretty hard to fault. There are some strange transitions from physical female issues to emotional ones, and possibly a lack of representation from our female friends without vaginas. But generally, Flaps Retouched showcases a hugely important topic relevant to literally half of the human race that hasn’t really been presented on Auckland stages before, except maybe, by them.
Flaps Retouched is showing at The Basement Theatre until this Saturday. Tickets are available here.