Rose Kirkup

Period Drama


Directing, Writing

Period drama is a vessel for the exploration of my medical trauma, mediating on humanity’s disconnection from the natural cycle, and the acceptance of capitalist notion of production / consumption.

“For me the demo derby is the greatest metaphor for being a woman in our health system. Trying to access care in the reproductive department is like your demo car. Your body is a shell, everything guttered out, all your glass gone, badges ripped off and told you’re not worth a new Rego. You’re on a dirty track with a bunch of other shells when the light turns green you bash into each other…. Whoever is the last car running gets their hysterectomy”
– Rose Kirkup


Period drama is formed from my internal thoughts around menstruation, birth, and death.

It has no set form or outcome and uses many different languages to reach audiences such as poetry, costume, film, music or live performance. Period Drama seeks to normalise the conversation around the lack of knowledge and care when it comes to the female reproductive system, hormone health, and the discrimination that comes with this.

Period Drama uses the feminine, the masculine and the inbetween, growing up as a bogan I want to use music, art, and culture such as speedway/demolition derby, to express my frustrations in navigating a health system built for the binary.


“I want men like my Dad to have experiences where they feel safe to face hard concepts. Where their mana is enhanced so they can be empowered to better support their mothers, wifes, daughters and so on.”

Rose is excited to bring their knowledge in live art and the health system to the space of speedway over this 2-year development. We need to celebrate our cultural spaces and the speedway is one of them.

Period Drama will tap into our love of period costume, demo derby, and rock ‘n’ roll, with hopes of creating a piece where all genders, ages, sexual orientations, and abilities can be uplifted and empowered to talk more about taboo stuff like periods and hormones.

‘See you at the beginning‘  a prologue to Kirkup’s first chapter, ‘In the beginning there was Rage’. An interarts piece developed in residence at Te Matatiki Toi Ora – The Arts Centre in Ōtautahi from May- July 2022.

The House of PD
Rose Kirkup – Concept
Benny’s Video / Nic Lane / Bill Kirkup / Rowan Pierce / Lucie Camp / Jacob Dombroski / Jake Brown / Marshal Rankin 


Tania Kuka / Nga Powhiri Kim Taupo / Ōrongomai Hauora Services

Aperahama Kipa /Vanessa Karakia Kore Grey / Nephtalim Antoine / Isadora Lao

Dr Latha Vasan / Dominique Maxwell 

Juanita Hepi / Cara Louise Waretini / Hannah Kelly

Zena Elliott  / Asher Newbery /

Lu McCarthy Jason Wright / Liv McGregor / Kerry Brown / Richard Larsen / Tanya Drewery / Rowan Pierce / Jared Hemopo / Lucie Camp / Nick Kyle / Chris Ulutupu / Elizabeth Pointon / WD Motors : William Dodson /

Marie Kirkup / Bill Kirkup / Jake Berry / Ritchie Berry / Lulu Berry / Claire Mepham / Henry Mepham / Charlotte Mepham / Sophia Mepham / Eydie Wilkes / Curtis Wilkes / Florence Wilkes

Rowan Pierce, Bianca Hyslop.

BATS Theatre: Carrie Thiel
Te Matatiki Toi Ora : The Arts Centre – Shelley Erskine, Hannah Wilson Black, Anna Shepherd, Philip Aldridge, Chris Archer
Creative New Zealand