"I've got a bronze medallion in Surf Life Saving
And I can neck a back of goon
In the time it takes to sing the theme tune
To Home and Away.
I'm about as Aussie as it gets."

director: Robert Awosusi

writer/performer: Jules Orcullo

dramaturgs: Tilly Lunken & Yolanda Mercy

phroot sahlad zooms in on Perry, a young Filipina-Australian woman stuck in Brisbane’s sweaty suburbia as she undergoes therapy for vaginismus – a condition involving involuntary spasm of vaginal muscles. Perry begins to construct a narrative for her psychosomatic pain – or her “clenchy cunt” as she calls it. As she juggles expectations of Filipino Catholicism, white Australian heterosexuality, model minority family ethics, and living as a fetishised East Asian woman in the Western world, she gives us clues into how her interior world has made an near indelible impact on her physiology and vice versa.

 

Semi-autobiographical in its content, phroot sahlad connects with audiences on a person-to-person level, facilitating real-time conversations about sexual health as culturally inflected. It’s a daughter of interdisciplinary, feminist live art, all about sharing and divulging as both radical and nurturing.

In March-April 2017, phroot sahlad was presented at Lyric Hammersmith's Evolution Festival (London), The North Wall Arts Centre's Alchymy Festival (Oxford) and Camden People's Theatre's Hotbed Festival (London). These performances featured a 3-person cast consisting of Vanora Fung, Ellen O'Connor, and Jules Orcullo.

Incubated as part of Lyric Hammersmith’s Development Lab, phroot sahlad has been scratched and showcased as a solo show at Camden People’s Theatre, The Pleasance, The Space, and Tara Arts.

Some phrooty love from our audiences so far:

‘LOVED IT! Laughed loads.’ ‘Clever and funny!’ ‘Light relief on a heavy subject, delivered well’, ‘Hilarious! A great light way to open a deep issue.’

 

'The persona is very strong and personable, and the subject matter, fascinating’, ‘extremely relatable, loveable and hilarious’.

‘Totally connected with it… brilliant!’

#phrootsahlad

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Image: Julian Bruton (left to right Vanora Fung and Jules Orcullo)