Endometriosis is a condition that affects one in nine people who menstruate and Adelaide comedian, writer and teacher Libby Trainor Parker is one of them.
After a lifetime of misdiagnoses and medical gaslighting, the award-winning cabaret performer finally became ‘endo official’ when she was 36-years-old and has since dedicated her life to educating, informing and ‘endo-taining’ people.
Despite there only being six shows on offer for the cabaret that has sold out each of its three consecutive Adelaide Fringe seasons and took out the Fringe Weekly Award for Best Cabaret in 2021, it’s not the endo the road for Libby and her chronic pun fun.
Her long-awaited (it’s only her mum who’s been long-awaiting it) memoir Endo Days: Life, Love and Laughs with Endometriosis will be hitting shelves mid year, published by Wakefield Press.
“There has been so much pain and heartache from this chronic, incurable illness, but there has also been plenty to be grateful for,” Libby says. “I live with mobility issues and debilitating pain every day. My husband Matt and I suffered fertility issues, including eleven pregnancy losses, but we have worked hard to turn every negative into a positive and channelled our hurt into creativity and comedy to reach out to a community of people affected by this disease.
“Through the book, the cabaret show and PPEP Talk (Periods, Pain and Endometriosis Program) the schools program I co-wrote with Pelvic Pain Foundation Australia, I’ve been able to share my knowledge, experiences and some choice jokes about endo with thousands of people who generally feel isolated by this illness. We want to build a community so people impacted by endo can feel empowered enough to advocate for themselves and each other.”
The show that has critics raving (“If only public health education campaigns were this good – The Advertiser) will open on February 18, playing for the first three weekends of Fringe at the endo-friendly time of 4pm. It also conveniently kicks off endometriosis awareness month: EndoMarch.
Endo Days at The Lark, Gluttony
Sat 18 Feb – Sun 19 Feb: 4pm
Sat 25 Feb – Sun 26 Feb: 4pm
Sat 4 Mar – Sun 5 Mar: 4pm
Grab your tickets HERE
“If only public health education campaigns were this good. ****1/2” – The Advertiser
“If you have endometriosis, suspect you may have been misdiagnosed, care about someone with endometriosis, or simply want to learn and be entertained at the same time, you must see this show. Head to Gluttony and catch it before the end of the Fringe. Wear your good PJs.” ***** Glam Adelaide
“I laughed, I cried, I cried with laughter and most of all I learnt how to be a better supporter to my own Endo Friendos. A must see for anyone with a uterus or knows someone with a uterus.” ***** Kids in Adelaide
“I have never felt so seen… From the bottom of my heart thank you for being so real and so vulnerable and so damn funny.” – Audience member and endo patient
“Endo Days is more than an evening of charming chronic illness comedy. It is a lifeline of advocacy for people struggling to manage their symptoms. If you or someone you know has endometriosis, this is the Fringe show you should be attending – not just for the laughs, but for the solidarity of knowing there are other people out there who share your experiences. – **** Radio Adelaide
★★★★ “… raucous adventure on chronic illness. The band is great, the songs are catchy, the themes are important, the message is powerful, and the lap dances on various chairs and audience members are outstanding. Libby is smart, witty, sexy, vulnerable, cute, honest—the most charismatic host you could ask for on a musical learning journey about real pain—and real love, resilience and humour in the face of it.”
– **** Mindshare
“Libby Trainor Parker, a festival weekly award winner, highlights the reality of comfy pyjamas, wheat bags and suppositories for women living with endo. She swiftly earns the trust of her audience: they willingly name misdiagnoses they have endured, offer up pieces of demoralising unsolicited advice they have received, and join in endo-themed songs including I See Red and All the Endo Ladies.”- The Guardian
“Chronic illness really does make you feel alone in various ways — like you’re the only one going through it, secretly and desperately trying anything you can to make yourself feel better — so shows like [Endo Days] that speak openly, honestly, and sometimes brutally about it all, are groundbreaking and have the ability to change lives.” – Junkee