Lucy Peach might be better known in Fringe and comedy festival circles these days for her world beating period piece My Greatest Period Ever, but she’s still an incredible singer-songwriter and a must-see in intimate surrounds. She joins Dream Rimmy for one of the latter’s final shows at the Winter Fest Dome this Friday, July 27. MAGGIE BOCHAT spoke to her about how her menstruation education has changed the live set.
I first came across Lucy Peach after watching her play a beautiful set in the church at Fairbridge back in 2015. I was mesmerized by her voice, engaged in her energy and humored by her banter. I sought to hear the song Be So Good again and again, but moments to catch Lucy were few and far between. Fast forward to 2017, where her show My Greatest Period Ever has taken Australia by storm. She toured our country spreading period knowledge and awareness wherever she went, and audience members gleefully listened.
How has your morning been Lucy?
It’s been pretty good! I’m just working in my basement, writing and giving myself rewards like going and hanging out washing for not checking my Instagram for 20 minutes. It’s a wild time.
Do you have to restrict your social media use when you are working?
Yeah absolutely! It’s hard when you’re a social person because you just want to know what’s going on, and if your working alone and you and have any ways of topping up your contact hours then it’s pretty alluring.
A basement sounds pretty lonely to me.
It’s got a beautiful view of a big tree, but I just need to make sure I get out and see people.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a book proposal based on my show My Greatest Period Ever, I’m doing a podcast in a few weeks in Sydney with Mia Freedman…
I know! I’m trying to just be really cool about it and not come out like a walking nipple (laughs). I’ve also lined up some meetings with a few book publishers over there. My writing process is pretty psychotic, I’ve got sections and I’m just slapping bits everywhere… I’m trying to write for each of the different phases of the menstrual cycle as I am actually in them.
So today I’m on day 20 and I’m writing for that as well. I’m constantly asking myself “Why am I doing this?” and “Why would anyone read this?” I don’t want to pump out another technical book on the female body. I want to keep drawing the links between what is going on inside of you and how that plays out emotionally, [how it] affects all your relationships and the aspects of life. Hopefully people can relate to some of that and apply it to their own selves.
You have had so much success with My Greatest Period Ever, do you sometimes desire a break from this topic?
No, I wouldn’t say I desire a break. As I’m writing, I am careful that I don’t put my own menstrual cycle under the microscope and then write from this intense place, because obviously life is a lot more than your menstrual cycle! But it definitely feels like it’s a hot topic in my world and my family and my house. Whenever I go out and speak to people, people I don’t know will talk to me about their periods or their menopause, and it feels like a real privilege that people want to speak to me about something that is so personal and special. I feel really honored.
A lot of of people assume that everyone is icked [sic] out by it, and that they don’t want to hear about it or talk about it; but that’s been really rare. Generally people are really excited about it! That makes me really happy to be human – if we are collectively pushing change so that people are feeling more positive about something that affects half of the planet then it’s going to really help to be more balanced society.
How has the show influenced your live set?
I used to work as a human biology teacher; that’s how I got into sex health education and menstrual cycle awareness. That’s what I combined with music to do My Greatest Period Ever. For the last 18 months I’ve kept them quite separate. But after doing the Melbourne Comedy Festival, which was 2 weeks of a show every night, I went on a tour with Mama Kin Spender. I had this feeling in the crowd at the Melbourne show that there was a lot of people who were expecting songs and stories [about periods] and so I started squeezing a bit in there and it felt really good to have that a part of my set!
You are playing at the upcoming Winter Fest in the Dome. What kind of set will you perform?
I always like talking to the crowd and sharing with them what the songs are about; having a connection is what I love about being a performer, but that’s a music space that I will be focusing on. It’s no secret that I’ve written a lot of songs inspired by that process so that’s an inherent part of the set.
Do you like winter?
After having our summer which is so long and languid it feels like a welcome alternative to that! I saw Sarah Blasko at the Rosemount and Ben Witt at Mojos (recently); we get so much good stuff here in Perth for the taking during winter, we are very lucky!