Edinburgh Festival Spotlight: Tense Vagina

Edinburgh Festival Spotlight: Tense Vagina

To find out more about Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 and the spotlights, please see the introductory article.

Next up in our Spotlight feature is Tense Vagina: an actual diagnosis, which plays Edinburgh Festival from 3 – 27 August 2017. I caught up with writer and actor Sara Juli:

Describe your show in three words.

Genuine. Funny. Daring.

Is this your first Edinburgh Fringe performance experience?

Yes, there’s SO MUCH TO DO! I’m super excited and also running around doing a million things to prepare, however I’m really looking forward to sharing the show with Fringe audiences.

Who else are you most looking forward to seeing while at the Fringe?

Manuel Cinema (Lula Del Ray) and Fleabag. I’m also interested in taking my kids to Trash Test Dummies.

How do you feel to be performing at Underbelly Cowgate?

Great. Excited. Nervous.  My work plays well in a small space since there is a good amount of audience interaction, and you can really see me working hard.  I’m interested in the proximity to the audience in the 60-person house of Ironbelly. For those who attend, the show will be a really intimate, funny and authentic experience.

Who or what are your inspirations?

My greatest motivation is making audiences laugh, not just because something is funny, but because I have accessed something deeper using humour as a form of connection.  Also, legendary performer, Deborah Hay is a huge inspiration for me. I studied with her in college and she helped me unwrap “the magic” of live performance.

What is your secret to surviving the intense, fast pace of the fringe?

We’ll see as this is my first time attending, so no secret yet. I’m planning on lots of vocal rest in between shows, lozenges and pure adrenaline.  Does anyone give massages at the Fringe?  If so-sign me up!

What are the future plans for your show?

I have an 11 city US tour planned for the 2017-2018 season that I’m super excited about.  My dream after the Fringe is to have made lots of connections, and be able to build an international tour, while meeting more presenters and audiences that might be interested in my work.

What is the best production you have seen this year – can be any genre, style, in any theatre or performance space?

Israeli choreographer Hillel Koogan’s, We Love Arabs at American Dance Festival in Durham, NC, USA.

Is there anything else you want to highlight about your show/ theatre company/ production?

Tense Vagina: an actual diagnosis is not a classical motherhood dance that pulls from traditional themes around the beauty of being a mother, but rather focuses on the parts of motherhood that are taboo and therefore NOT discussed such as: loss of bladder control, the copious tears, extreme loneliness, and the monotony to name a few.  As I share my experiences raising two children, using abstract movement, sounds, songs, audience interaction and a “garden of dildos”, this piece ultimately connects with anyone who has a mother.  The narrative is anchored in sharing the physical therapy I received at The Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation Center of New England as I shed light and humour on my treatment of post-childbirth urinary incontinence.  Come check it out. I promise you’ll learn something new.


Writer: Sara Juli

Producer: Elsie Management

Design: Carol Farrell (costume); Pamela Moulton (set); Justin Moriarty (lighting)

Cast: Sara Juli

Image courtesy of Kristofer Alan Thompson

Tense Vagina: an actual diagnosis plays Underbelly Cowgate as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 from 3 – 27 August 2017. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.


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