Theatre Review: A Womb Of One’s Own, Pleasance Dome (Venue 23), Edinburgh

THE IRISH REFERENDUM debate of 2018, which opened the way for safe and legal terminations of pregnancy in Ireland after centuries of prohibition, seems to have sent a shock-wave through the younger generation of women in Britain, as they reassess the culture of shame and silence that still seems to surround the subject in the UK, even though terminations have been legally available here for more than half a century.

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Claire Rammelkamp’s semi-autobiographical show A Womb Of One’s Own follows the experience of a first-year student who gets pregnant during Fresher’s Week, and of the other women - mainly her new would-be girlfriend Miranda - who help her get through the termination that follows.

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The style of the show - performed by a company of four young women, led by Rammelkamp herself and director Holly Bond - is often so fiercely energetic, and so determined to be lively, exciting, and not boring, that it’s difficult to focus on the subject in hand, and on what the play is actually saying about it; the whole experience has slightly theatre-in-education feel, as if designed for young people who may not be quite sure of their rights.

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It’s performed with terrific vividness and commitment, though, by Rammelkamp and director Holly Bond with Danica Corns and Carla Garrett; and like Cotton Fingers at Summerhall, on the same subject, it ends with an upbeat image of reconciliation between generations who suddenly find themselves free to share the reality of their experience as women, after so many generations of secrets and lies.

Until 26th August