Fringe Theatre review: Mission Abort

Mission Abort | Gilded Balloon at Rose Theatre (Venue 76) | Star rating: ***

Performing portions of the show flat on her back on the medical couch in the middle of the stage is a bold call for actor Therese Ramstedt, but these are the moments which reveal the central concerns of this piece, and she handles them with the same sense of light-hearted dignity which she carries with her throughout the show.

It’s on the couch that she speculates on precisely which place and position was used when she became pregnant, and ultimately undergoes the abortion which she has decided upon after much soul-searching.

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The play is listed under “true-life” on the Fringe site, although we remain unaware how much is fact and fiction. Ramstedt’s warmth and relatability as a performer, however, contribute to an honest and emotional journey which is necessarily bittersweet, but which reveals her eventual comfort with her own decisions.

It’s frank, it’s often tenderly amusing and it explores current discussions about opposition to abortion, and when Ramstedt isn’t on the couch, she bounds through the play with a lively energy, singing the Beatles (her voice is lovely), inviting an audience member to act the part of her boyfriend, and choosing to soundtrack the critical abortion scene with an empowering blast of Kate Bush.

• Until 28 August. Today 5:45pm.