Week 24/2024: Theatregoing

Week of 10 June 2024

This week was all about theatregoing and perimenopausal sleep. The weather wasn’t any better, but my mood was.

A black and white image of crashing waves
The shitty weather was good photo weather

Some theatre outings

Revolt.

I saw the poster for Revolt. She Said. Revolt. by Bad Company Theatre last week. I was going to go to the matinee show on Sunday but I was exhausted by the end of the week and going out wasn’t an option.

(“Barb listens to her body and slows down” achievement unlocked.)

It looked like an interesting show, which alerted me that it “should not be well behaved”, and I really wanted to go. Fortunately, Thursday night was another option.

A program held in front of a theatre stage with words in red upper case letters REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN. over the top of a skull image
Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. At the Peacock Theatre

Written by Alice Birch, the play is a series of short scenes featuring nameless characters discussing a range of feminist issues, including:

the institution of marriage, the bond between mothers and daughters, sisterhood/solidarity among women, the glass ceiling, gender stereotypes, the impacts of commodifying and sexualising the female body to satisfy male heterosexual desire, and how we are all impacted by language.

It was funny and, it was dark, and the cast moved easily between the scenes and the characters. I was interested in the recurring references to bluebells in particular and I will never look at watermelons the same way again.

A great thing about this production was how it catered for people’s different needs. They held a ‘sensory relaxed’ performance on Sunday, and the show I went to had an Auslan interpreter on stage. Very cool.

The Mousetrap

From the cosy atmosphere of the Peacock Theatre to the much larger production of Agatha’s Christie’s The Mousetrap at the Theatre Royal on Saturday night.

A dark red background with the words Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap in orange lettering
The Mousetrap Program cover

Australian theatre legend Robyn Nevin directed this show and I was so excited to see it. It’s the longest-running show on London’s West End, opening in 1952 and still going.

Audiences are sworn to secrecy once the ending is revealed. Okay, so anyone could find this out on the internet now (boo) but, even though people scoff at me for liking to spoiler things for myself, this was one I didn’t want to know about. So I didn’t go looking.

A dark red background with the words WHODUNNIT in large uper case lettters, and "CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET" in small white letters at the bottom of the image
Whodunnit?

I’m glad I didn’t! It’s a classic ‘whodunnit’ with a small cast stranded in an isolated location, someone ends up murdered, no one is quite who they seem to be, and everyone is a suspect.

Such fun!

Menopausing and sleeping

To try and address my (possibly perimenopause-related) sleep issues, I’ve been working my way through the book The Everything Guide by Niki Bezzant. This complements her earlier publication This Changes Everything. (Lil Sis recommended this and I have it on loan from the library but haven’t actually read it . . . because I have like four unread books on menopause, which is a recipe for overwhelm . . . .)

As I said last week, I’m trying to focus on one small thing at a time to support myself through this life season.

O sleep! O gentle sleep!

I’m looking at my sleep first because it’s a big contributor to making me feel terrible. Not so much getting to sleep, but staying asleep after 3 or 4 am.

Having a regular bedtime and wake-up time is standard advice in pretty much everything I’ve read about sleep. As is having a bedtime routine. And I have all these things. Well, apart from the wake-up time, which appears to be beyond my control.

Niki advises shutting down screens at least an hour before bed, which for me is 9.30. This isn’t a new thing but I want to bring my bedtime back to 10.00, which means shutting down at 9.00.

So it’s not too much of a change (and therefore more likely to happen), I decided to dial my shutdown time back by 10 minutes a week.

That’s my first small thing. Shut down at 9.20 next week.

Get thee outdoors

The other small thing I’m trying is to go outside every morning and get some sunlight. Niki (and others) say being outside early in the day helps create the seratonin you need to create melatonin (the sleep hormone). And thus, in theory, going outside more should improve my sleep.

Okay, so mid-winter in Tasmania isn’t the best time to decide I’m light deficient—but it being mid-winter is likely a reason WHY I am. But we get some daylight and I’m quite capable of walking out the front door in the morning.

In an ideal world, I’d take Niki’s further advice and exercise outside but right now that’s lifting the bar too high. I’m well out of the habit of morning walks, and the later sunrises mean that my former walking times aren’t going to get me the light I need. (Also, it’s cold and dark and did I mention it’s cold . . .). I’m still working out how to get back into the walking habit so for now, forcing myself outside for just five minutes to get used to going out is enough.

Tiny habits

Making tiny changes like these is how James Clear recommends to build habits in his book Atomic Habits, which I worked through last year.  Make a tiny ‘gateway’ habit so small you don’t even think about doing it. Then “bind” the habit to a time and place where you’ll do it. (Or bind it to a preceding event: “after I’ve finished my stretches I will go outside and walk to the corner”.)

And off we go.

Summary of the week

What did I learn this week?

In the song ‘Don’t Dream It, Be It’ in Rocky Horror, Janet sings a line that sounds like “God bless Lili Sincere”. I’ve never known what this meant and, after watching the movie again last week, I had to look it up.

The line isn’t “Lili Sincere”, it’s “Lili St. Cyr”.

Lili St. Cyr was the stage name of Marie Frances Van Schaack (1918-1999), a famous American burlesque dancer and striptease artist in the 1940s and 1950s. She also had a lingerie business, which (according to IMDB) designed and sold costumes for strippers AND housewives. Something for everyone!

What did I notice this week?

I liked this photo.

A street with McDonald's on the left and a rainbow in the sky. A person in a red jacket is standing underneath the red and gold M arches
Macca’s rainbow

I wish the person had had a yellow hat though.

What was the best thing this week?

The saga of the windows is (mostly) over!

In January last year we got our new windows after many months (years?) of waiting.

But that wasn’t the end. More work was needed. There was replastering, getting new architraves to fit the new windows, painting the plaster patch-ups and sealing all the wood.

And, once all that was done, getting new curtains to fit the windows.

On Tuesday, the curtains came.

The corner of a room with a red curtain-covered window on each wall
At last: CURTAINS!

Amazing!

What am I reading this week?

  • The Everything Guide by Niki Bezzant

Habit tracker

  • Walk 8,000 steps: 7/7
  • Shut down at 9.30: 5/5
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