This play is one I jumped at the chance to see. It was explained to me as an exploration of women in dystopian film, with a fresh take on the politics of representation in Hollywood. In Tampocalypse the stage is split in half, with young screenwriter Mary pitching her epic, dystopian story to a producer. As she runs the older woman through the plot of the film, her characters perform the meta menstruation melodrama beside her. The five women are trapped in a supermarket while extra-terrestrial forces, who are attracted to blood, attempt to attack them from outside. Obviously their periods pose very real problems in this situation. Snippets of the performed screenplay reveal a feminist film with complex, lovable characters, and snappy dialogue, but the producer remains resistant. She suggests major changes, such as a hyper-sexualised lesbian sex scene, a pregnancy, and a unnecessarily cruel character death, and Mary’s characters are forced to endure the harmful tropes of Hollywood film. These moments were both comedic and upsetting, and I found myself laughing and sighing along with the characters. The play also had moments, that made my little filmy, feminist heart flutter. When Mary has moments of self-doubt her strong characters urge her to continue, and when the producer sees a part of herself represented in the story she becomes emotional. However, at moments the dialogue is on the nose, and the ending left me feeling completely hopeless about the future of representation. I lost any feelings of momentum, and walked out of the theatre even more aware of those issues in film. It’s definitely an exploration of dystopia, but unfortunately it appears quite close to our reality.