Dry Season coming to the Hippodrome

Interweaving music, movement and medical texts with original poetry and animation, Dry Season is a witty, honest and intimate spoken word theatre show about questioning assumptions and learning to rewrite your story.

Artist Kat Lyons thought they were too young to worry about menopause; biology thought differently.  Kat was diagnosed with premature menopause aged 39, following 18 months of symptoms including chronic insomnia, depression, and paranoid anxiety. The overall menopausal transition lasts on average around 8 years and can cause a range of symptoms including sleep problems, hot flushes, changes to libido, brain fog and mental health issues. 25% of menopausal women experience severe or debilitating symptoms. The average age of menopause in the UK is 51. The suicide risk for women in the UK peaks between 45-54.

Writer and performer Kat said, “I didn’t really think about menopause until I was diagnosed with it, and then I realised I knew almost nothing. It’s not something that gets discussed much publicly as it’s often associated with being “old and dried up” so there’s a lot of ignorance and shame around it. After I was diagnosed I started going on forums where people would share their menopause experiences and I started wondering – where’s the space for all these stories? I think it’s really important they have a wider platform. Not just for people in menopause, but for everyone, so they know what to expect later on or can have more empathy for their friends, families and partners. Half the human population will go through menopause at some point, so we need to be able to talk about this openly.”

Dry Season was written in response to Kat’s diagnosis and early experience of premature menopause. Through internet forums, surveys and interviewing menopausal women, Kat discovered that their initial feelings of shame, isolation and ignorance were shared by countless others. Dry Season was created in an attempt to counter this. Kat uses their autobiographical journey to explore societal expectations of age and gender, and to create space for open discussion and wider representation of menopause. Dry Season aims to generate knowledge and empathy between people of different ages, genders, and experiences.

Kat is a Queer Bristol-based writer and performer, working mainly in the field of spoken word poetry. They were nominated for the Jerwood Poetry in Performance Award 2022 and have performed at poetry events and festivals across the UK, including WOMAD, Shambala, Lyra: Bristol Poetry Festival and the Eden Project. Kat’s debut poetry collection will be published in February 2022 by Verve Poetry Press. Dry Season is their first solo show. As well as co-hosting spoken word event Raise the Bar, Kat is the creator, producer and host of SpitFire, an intermittent online poetry night curated to highlight the voices and talent of older women. They also facilitate creative writing workshops for adults and young people, both as an individual and with other members of Raise the Bar. Kat has had artist’s residencies with Artspace Lifespace (2019, 2021), and Shoebox Theatre (2020). In March 2020 they were commissioned by The Cemetary Club to research and create a performance based on Bristol’s hidden LGBTQ history. In July 2020 they were one of 5 artists chosen for The Arts Institute Covid-19 commission.

Running Time: 60mins (no interval) | Suitable for ages 15+