I knew I was in for a good time the moment I stepped into the Studio in the Vaults and heard the music going. My Period the Cockblock was a blast – hilarious, fast-paced and loud. The piece doesn’t quite hit the mark in terms of depth, production value and making good use of its time, yet it made up for its faults with its fun, energy and atmosphere.
Bolade has a pill meant to stop her period from starting the day of the hottest party in town. Fresh from a break up with her ex boyfriend, she decides to take the pill and attend the party with her best friend in tow. There are challenges to face: how do you sneak out the house in a very short skirt without your sister tattling to your Dad? But there are victories to be won too: when a guy buys you and your friend a drink at the club. And more importantly when your biggest celebrity crush appears at the party looking gorgeous. However, the night risks crumbling to pieces when Aunt Flo comes knocking.
The two actors had great chemistry and performed with such joy. The comedy-drama opened with one of the actors asking the whole audience to engage with the play however we wanted. We were invited to dance to the music, to shout out if we wanted, and to treat the play like a party. This set the tone for the rest of the piece. At times audience members called out or chorused along with Bolade. I didn’t see anyone brave enough to stand up to dance, but we all boogied in our seats.
Ruth Oyediran plays a passionate Bolade who suffers with her period pains throughout the day but soldiers on. Lara Grace Ilori is hilarious as she multi-roles the characters that Bolade meets on her journey. She jumps from playing a bellowing father, having transitioned from a coy younger sister, and my personal favorite saw Lara Grace excelling as a lad in the club.
However, I expected more exploration into the themes that the piece brought up. For example Bolade hints that her best friend had a troubling childhood in foster care but swiftly moves on from the topic. Furthermore it’s obvious that the villain of the play is Bolade’s period, and it’s clear that she struggles so greatly with her period that it impacts her day to day life. This isn’t uncommon for people who have periods, and it was relatable to see the first day of her period entirely ruin Bolade’s plans – and her life. But there were plenty of opportunities to delve deeply into how under researched female reproductive rights are but this script let them pass.
The transitions between scenes felt like wasted time, and some of the set pieces and props didn’t serve as anything other than stuff to take on and off stage. I would have enjoyed seeing this production make use of the scene transitions and be more creative with that time.
Overall, I enjoyed My Period The Cockblock and I had so much fun. Even though technically it was lacking, I came away with a huge smile on my face.
Recommended Drink: A Woo Woo. It’s fun and fresh and girl – just like this play.