Catherine Cranfield
Theatre Unlocked in association with Grace Dickson Productions and Park Theatre
Park Theatre

Elizabeth Hammerton as Marnie and Iona Champain as Jen Credit: Lidia Crisafulli
Iona Champain as Jen and Elizabeth Hammerton as Marnie Credit: Lidia Crisafull
Iona Champain as Jen and Elizabeth Hammerton as Marnie Credit: Lidia Crisafull

There’s a light touch to the dialogue of Catherine Cranfield’s play Flushed. The two sisters Marnie (Elizabeth Hammerton) and Jen (Iona Champain) spend a good deal of the time chatting with each other from separate toilet cubicles. The amusing conversation had me wondering if this was going to be a gentle situation comedy as Marnie tries to cope with losing her tampon down the toilet. (It's a very rare club indeed that bothers to provide tampon dispensers.)

They are clearly not just sisters. They are also best friends, singing and dancing together and even arranging to go out on double dates. That’s why it is a worrying surprise for Jen to hear that Marnie has to see a doctor about not having had a period for over a year.

Then comes the shocking news that, at age twenty-five, Marnie has primary ovarian insufficiency, also referred to as premature menopause. It unsettles Marnie's sense of identity, how others will see her, what it will mean for any plans she might have with a partner. Jen, concerned, tries to help, but clumsily asks if the condition might be genetic.

This is an important issue rarely spoken about. Yet its implications are only briefly discussed amidst talk of Jen’s smoking habit, their dad’s birthday and the lads they date. There is also little dramatic tension or mystery or conflict to keep us on the edge of our seats.

All the same, it is an entertaining hour with two believable, lively characters.

Reviewer: Keith Mckenna

Are you sure?