Edinburgh Fringe digital review: Menopause Party

Presented by Dolly Slatemen, the working woman’s pub landlady (alter ego of real-life pub landlady Debbie Baisden), this Menopause Party comes straight to the masses.

Directed by Chris Head, this show tackles taboos with comedy, songs, invented characters and edutainment. Totally relatable for ladies of a certain age, and accessible for everyone else.

Watched from a recording taken at the Brighton Fringe earlier this year, this show’s idea is “to have a bit of a laugh and learn a bit”. The good, the bad and the indifference are out in force with characters and a bit of a sing-song.

With her characters Judge Mental and Meena Poors, Dolly talks about getting too hot, keeping quiet, and carrying on. Half the population hit the menopause, and yet we hardly discuss it. Wombs, vaginas and other unmentionables are verboten.

A very funny and accomplished piece of edutainment proves Baisden has certainly picked up communication and characterization in her time behind the bar.

There is always a catchy song, an intriguing fact, or a sympathetic ear for the middle-aged women approaching “the change” or passing through it.

Not that this show excludes men. They are welcome to watch; it isn’t a show which hates them. If they can think about the reality of what women go through at the other end of puberty, this will be fun for them too.

Menopause Party is a run of puns and quips, with Dolly a fully-rounded character, filthy, big-hearted, and full of joie de vivre in her tight skirt, leopard-print leggings and bandana.

It also has a serious side, focusing on how all women’s experience of perimenopause and menopause is valid and normal.

The educating part of the show is clear: we need to talk, and Braisden’s show ensures we will continue to do so beyond this show’s 66 minute runnibg time.

Menopause Party ran at the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2022 and at the Canal Cafe Theatre in London in September 2022.

*** (and a half)