Kaz Cooke and Judith Lucy’s Menopausal Night Out headed to The Regal Theatre

Tanya MacNaughtonThe West Australian
Kaz Cooke and Judith Lucy are hitting the road with their Menopausal Night Out tour.
Camera IconKaz Cooke and Judith Lucy are hitting the road with their Menopausal Night Out tour. Credit: Nicole Reed

Judith Lucy and Kaz Cooke have enjoyed an indestructible friendship for more than 30 years, initiated by a somewhat shaky start when Lucy unwittingly insulted Cooke on national ABC sketch and satire TV program The Late Show in 1993.

“I was watching the show at home while recovering from a gynaecological operation, during which, as a side effect to take home, they’d given me haemorrhoids,” bestselling author Cooke explains.

“I was lying face-down on the couch with an ice pack clutched between my buttocks, as Judith Lucy held up a picture of me on the front of a magazine I’d never heard of and started talking about all the losers in it.”

In her defence, Melville-raised comedian Lucy was a massive Cooke fan, but had absolutely no idea what she looked like when paying out on the magazine called Single Living, it never occurring to her it could be Cooke on the cover.

“So in the depths of ‘what has my life become?’ I rang up Judith on the ABC switchboard and we’ve been fast friends ever since,” Cooke adds.

Kaz Cooke and Judith Lucy are heading to Perth.
Camera IconKaz Cooke and Judith Lucy are heading to Perth. Credit: nicole reed Naolmi Reed

“It’s like reading an Enid Blyton novel really.”

The Melbourne-based pair have supported each other through a great deal since, from deaths and relationship break-ups to “hideous family and work stuff”, while also championing their respective book launches.

Having usually read each other’s books before they go to print, it was at Cooke’s launch with Lucy, for Cooke’s 2023 release It’s The Menopause — a practical go-to guide informed by doctors, experts and quotes from almost 9000 women — that became their touring stage show Menopausal Night Out.

It features laughs, useful chats about perimenopause, stories about their own experiences — both mentally and physically — and an uncensored Q&A session with the audience.

“It’s like an enormous menopausal slumber party,” Santa Maria College and Curtin University graduate Lucy says.

“So many people have grown up with Kaz’s books, whereas I have been nowhere near as important in people’s lives, but I have made them listen to an awful lot about my personal life for a very long time.

“I have forced people to get to know me is what I’m saying, so I think between the two of us people do feel really comfortable around us to talk about, well, unexpected weeing.”

Cooke adds: “That is an incredible skill Jude has, that she can make jokes with an audience. She can have the microphone to be interviewing someone in the audience and nobody feels like they’re mocked. I have been so surprised that people have been getting up and telling us things that are just so intimate.

“One of the things we’re trying to do is take the shame out of menopause and it feels like that’s definitely underlying a lot of what we’re doing.

Kaz Cooke and Judith Lucy.
Camera IconKaz Cooke and Judith Lucy. Credit: Nicole Reed

“A lot of people think their mum didn’t go through menopause and it’s just because that generation never talked about it, and the medical profession has not covered themselves in glory. They originally thought that if you had your period, and you walked past a fruit tree, you’d kill it. That was the standard of medical knowledge about the female reproductive system for a long time.

“Hormones themselves were only actually discovered, by men, in the 1920s and frankly, it’s not been until now, when there’s far more bolshie women going ‘I need some help with this’ that we’ve got some really terrific GPs and specialists, alongside terrible, outdated and wrong information.”

Lucy, whose 85-year-old birth mum Jan lives in a Menora retirement village, says her introduction to the realm of menopausal comedy came from another great friend, comedian Denise Scott.

“Scotty is 13 years older than me, so she was doing gags about menopause when I wasn’t experiencing it at that point,” Lucy recounts.

“I saw the women in the audience, who were the same age as Scotty, just losing their mind when she started talking about it. I mean, apart from the fact that she’s absolutely f…… hilarious, no one else was talking about it, and that was huge.”

Menopausal Night Out is at The Regal Theatre, June 14 (sold out) and June 16. Tickets at ticketek.com.au.

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