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A Womb of One’s Own, Pleasance Dome (10Dome) – Review

One in three women will experience abortion in their lifetime. They often face aggressive pro-life campaigns and hostile medical personnel. And because intervention is still seen as a taboo, many of these women are prevented from making a free choice within a safe environment.  A Womb Of One’s Own sees playwright Rammelkamp draw from personal experience as she aims to bring attention to the stigma surrounding the topic. Growing up with her catholic Grandmamie, Babygirl is desperate to become an adult and explore her own sexuality. The much-awaited opportunity finally arises when she moves away to university. Freshers week…

Summary

Rating

Excellent

A girl stiffled by her catholic upbringing is eager to explore her own sexuality in a dark coming of age story about abortion.

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One in three women will experience abortion in their lifetime. They often face aggressive pro-life campaigns and hostile medical personnel. And because intervention is still seen as a taboo, many of these women are prevented from making a free choice within a safe environment.  A Womb Of One’s Own sees playwright Rammelkamp draw from personal experience as she aims to bring attention to the stigma surrounding the topic.

Growing up with her catholic Grandmamie, Babygirl is desperate to become an adult and explore her own sexuality. The much-awaited opportunity finally arises when she moves away to university. Freshers week introduces her to parties fuelled by cheap vodka and casual sex. A one-night stand with a random guy is soon followed by a crush for a sweet girl called Miranda. Their relationship flourishes and Babygirl is finally enjoying herself to the full, only then to discover she is pregnant. Not wanting to involve anyone, she tries to seek medical advice on her own, only to be pushed from place to place. Determined to opt for abortion, she’s put on a two-week long waiting list – an extremely challenging time which sees her exposed to all the pro-life websites with all the horrific images they contain.

Simultaneously played with endless stamina by Claire Rammelkamp, Holly Bond, Danica Corns and Carla Garratt (whilst also doubling to play the smaller roles) Babygirl is scared and lonely. Despite abortion being legal in England, accessing the service is a convoluted and humiliating process and those who don’t receive support from family and friends are often discouraged because of the little assistance received.

Steering clear from rhetoric, this dark comedy combines light-hearted tones with critical issues, whilst highlighting women’s resilience in the face of potentially scarring life events. Even though it addresses a crucial subject matter, A Womb of One’s Own is not a drama. The conclusion is quite uplifting and the four-strong company really look like they are enjoying their roles. Overall, this is a refreshing work and a reassuring proof that the conversation around abortion is at least moving in the right direction.

Written by: Claire Rammelkamp
Directed by: Holly Bond
Producer: Wonderbox and the Pleasance
Booking Information: This show has completed its current run.

About Marianna Meloni

Marianna Meloni
Marianna, being Italian, has an opinion on just about everything and believes that anything deserves an honest review. Her dream has always been to become an arts critic and, after collecting a few degrees, she realised that it was easier to start writing in a foreign language than finding a job in her home country. In the UK, she tried the route of grown-up employment but soon understood that the arts and live events are highly addictive.