Tense Vagina: an actual diagnosis

Sara Juli’s Tense Vagina: An Actual Diagnosis does an excellent job of pushing the boundaries of the relationship between the audience and performer. Not only does she provide you with snacks and sweets, but she cuddles you, massages you, rocks you as you nuzzle into her chest, wipes a mark off your cheek with her own spit, but she gets you to pass a vibrator around the audience, and musically collaborate with her on musical children toys.

An imaginative and brave show performed with fearless vulnerability by the warm, wild and untamed Sara Juli.

Have you ever heard the word kegal? It’s when you tense your vaginal and anal muscles simultaneously, strengthening your pelvic floor. If you have a penis it’s easy to tell you can kegal as your penis will jump around when you contract those muscles, but if you have a vagina it’s all tucked up inside and not so simple. Sara Juli introduces the kegal to us by explaining her urinary incontinence and that it was an exercise she was instructed to do daily after her visits to the Pelvic Floor Rehab Centre of New England where she was diagnosed with a tense - or stressed - vagina. Gleefully, we all kegal together in time with her.

Playing with hilarious ways of creating soundscapes and dancing like a loon, Sara Juli works with the audience to explore womanhood and motherhood through a farcical series of short stories, songs, and lots of strange noises. This wouldn’t usually be the show for the meek and mild, but I think they are the audience members who need Sara Juli the most. She presents a frank and comedic environment for audiences to enjoy uncomfortable subjects deemed inappropriate by society to talk about, educating us about openness, the vagina, and the need for self-love and self-care as a human being. An imaginative and brave show performed with fearless vulnerability by the warm, wild and untamed Sara Juli. 

Reviews by Isabella Javor

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Performances

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The Blurb

Using humour, movement, song and the audience, Sara Juli reveals all that is awesome and all that sucks when it comes to being a mother. Tense Vagina is a show about the beauty, challenges, isolation and influence motherhood has on the human experience. Focusing on the taboo aspects of motherhood: loneliness, tears and dildos, the hilarious narrative is anchored in the physical therapy Juli received at the Pelvic Floor Rehab Center of New England for urinary incontinence. ‘Like a stand-up routine performed in a supine position while doing Kegel exercises’ (New Yorker).

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