Written and performed by Ella Dorman-Gajic, this sensitive and honest audio drama highlights a topic that is seen as taboo by many – periods and more specific period poverty.

A twenty minutes long, this sensitive but frank audio drama really captures what half the population goes through on a monthly basis – menstruation and everything that comes with it. But it also highlights what happens if you can’t afford to buy tampons or even sanitary towels to help you through this difficult time.

The piece starts as we meet Jess, waking up in an unfamiliar room and realising that her period has started and leaving her in a bit of a mess. Throughout the 20 minutes we follow her as she attempts to hide the evidence, which leads her to realising that she hasn’t got enough money to buy tampons to help stop her heavy flow from becoming noticeable.

Written by Ella Dorman-Gajic, the language is certainly honest as she goes in to great detail of what it feels like from being in pain to feeling embarrassed at having to wash her sheets out in the sink to stop people from finding out.

While the abolition of the so called ‘tampon tax’ seemed to have brought periods to the forefront, raising questions about affordable hygiene – the whole subject of menstruation is still seen as quite a taboo subject for people to talk about.

The piece does go someway to exploring this as flashbacks reveal how her stepfather tells her to “stop eating in the bathroom” when he notices pink wrappers in the bin that he assumes as sweets. This captures so much ignorance in society with regards to periods and how society seems to feel that it is a subject of great shame when in reality it is huge part of a woman’s life.

Every description is vivid and extremely relatable and could have been developed further to explore how it affects her relationships with those around her in more detail. The style in which it has been written in suggests that Jess is confiding in the audience as she feels completely alone in her embarrassment which brings up feelings of sadness and isolation.

Through this twenty minute piece, it might come across as uncomfortable to listen to but if it means that more women feel less alone and become more comfortable about talking about it has done its job.

With 40% ticket sales going to Bloody Good Period, a charity combatting period poverty, it is a powerful way of breaking through some of the taboo surrounding this subject. Educational and thoughtful way of approaching this subject.

By Emma Clarendon

A Bloody Shambles is available to listen to as part of the Living Record Festival until the 22nd February.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐