Dr Carnesky’s Incredible Bleeding Woman

UK Tour, 27 October - 24 November 2018  


It’s time to reverse the curse! Because the revolution will be menstrual!

This time nation-wide!

1970s horror meets 2020 feminist activism as Dr Carnesky’s Incredible Bleeding Woman paints the country red…

Following a host of successful runs at Soho Theatre, Underbelly, Southbank, Edinburgh and Adelaide Fringes, Dr Carnesky’s Incredible Bleeding Woman goes on a magical, mystery road trip this autumn. Pitching up at venues across the UK, dates include a residency at Attenborough Centre For The Creative Arts in Brighton plus a welcome return to Soho Theatre.

Putting the magic back into menstruation, showwoman and artist Marisa Carnesky reinvents menstrual rituals for a new era, drawing on the hidden power of a forgotten matriarchal past. Delivered with tongue in cheek reverence, this newly evolved version of the show embodies a live art/cabaret crossover – mutating between a bizarre anthropology lecture to a magic stage show, to a feminist, activist ritual featuring an extraordinary cast including cabaret artist and hairhanger Fancy Chance.

Referencing representations of women and blood from ancient mythology to classic horror movies, menstruation takes centre stage in a profound exploration of what it means to be ‘female’. Issues around fertility, body shame, taboo and lost ancient herstories are scrutinised, politicised & reclaimed. With a potent brew of surrealism horror and parody, Dr Carnesky presents mind-blowing menstrual rituals utilising all manner of skills, tricks and props and an unstoppable flow of sheer heart and soul.

Marisa Carnesky assembled a group known as The Menstronauts to devise ritual performances by meeting every dark moon at Metal in Southend over the course of nine months. Through a process of performance-making, spell-casting, dream diaries and cathartic sharing, a performance work was created embodying diverse lived experiences of menstruation. From pain to fertility, miscarriage, transgender identity, menopause and religious ritual.

Featuring performed and filmed rituals from Marisa Carnesky, Fancy Chance, Rhyannon Styles, MisSa Blue, H Plewis, Sula Plewis Robbins and Nao Nagai.

Dr Carnesky’s Incredible Bleeding Woman is the result of Marisa Carnesky’s Incredible Bleeding Woman research project which she completed as part of a PhD at Middlesex University.


Become a Menstrual Activist
The Menstronauts are a menstrually identified activist group inspired by Dr Carnesky’s Incredible Bleeding Woman. They aim to raise awareness of the importance of the cycle and global issues relating to women’s bodies and their menstrual rights. You too can take part and reclaim the importance of your menstrual cycle through the power of ritual activism! Find The Menstronauts on Facebook.

Suitable for Audiences 18+
Run Time 60 minutes
2018 show funded by Arts Council England & Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts. Created originally for a PhD programme at Middlesex University.

“I think Dr Carnesky’s Incredible Bleeding Woman is a kind of feminist trans-celebrational burlesque like nothing I’ve ever seen. I hope they find a great venue for this strange and courageous work”

Dame Emma Thompson August 2017

“Menstrual mystery tour... delightfully po-faced and deliciously tongue-in-cheek.”

 Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

“...stimulating, amusing, empowering and absurd – as is to be expected from a rich and distinctive approach to a neglected and marginalised subject. The result is deeply personal and highly political, a multidimensional journey by radical showwomen setting out to reclaim the power of nature and magic.”

 Ben Walters, The Scotsman

“It’s great to see this usually taboo subject bursting onstage in all its bloody glory.”

Dorothy Max Prior, Total Theatre

Veronica Thompson aka Fancy Chance performs regularly in the cabaret, variety, burlesque, live-art and circus communities. She was crowned Alternative Miss World in 2009. She has performed her solo show Flights of Fancy at Soho Theatre and toured internationally. She is also one of the few active hair hangers in the UK.

Rhyannon Styles has been a Carnesky company member since 2008 performing in Carnesky’s Ghost Train and Carnesky’s Tarot Drome. Styles is a journalist and is currently Elle Magazine’s first trans columnist and her memoir The New Girl was published in July 2017. Rhyannon will appear in Brighton and London performances.

H Plewis has worked as a performer and choreographer with Carnesky Productions since 2008. She is also associated with Duckie, collaborating with the collective for over a decade, currently on The Posh Club and PC/DC. An all-round live artist specialising in dance, H has worked across many contexts, most recently motherhood.

Missa Blue is an international sword swallower who has been working on the circus/ sideshow and burlesque circuits since 2011. She recently did a Ted X talk about her life and the challenges of being a sword swallower. Missa performs for the London shows only.

Sula Majorie Plewis Robin is the youngest Menstruant at the ripe old age of 2. An early arrival weighing less than a bag of sugar, she is now almost standing on her two chunky legs. She likes the milk of human kindness and Notorious B.I.G.

Dramaturg – Kira O’Reilly is an artist currently leading a new MA pilot in Ecology and Contemporary Art in Helsinki. Her practice, both wilfully interdisciplinary and entirely undisciplined, stems from a visual art background; it employs performance, biotechnical practices and writing with which to consider speculative reconfigurations around The Body.

Lighting Designer – Nao Nagai is a London based Japanese artist who immigrated to the UK aged 15. She has worked with postmodern pop performance pranksters Frank Chickens (winner of Foster’s Comedy God Awards 2010) and has devised and performed in shows by Hey Ho Ha. As a Lighting Designer she has worked in diverse genres from cabaret to Opera.

Costume Designer – Claire Ashley is a London based costume designer who runs a studio offering bespoke costumes and clothing, from metamorphic and vintage inspired costumes to bridal and tailoring.


Sign up to our mailing list