Mission Abort opens with Therese Ramstedt, legs spread, on what appears to be a nurse’s bed as she addresses the audience upside down. So begins this exceptionally moving and thought provoking one woman play which breaks the taboo around abortion with flare and gusto.
It starts like any other pregnancy narrative, with Ramstedt sat anxiously awaiting the test result. Except, in this story, she isn’t excited. She knows she doesn’t want this baby and that’s okay. And so commences her journey, from accepting the news, to telling her boyfriend, to the abortion itself and the aftermath. It’s frank and brutally honest, though simplistically told.
The set is minimal but the stripped back nature is effective. Having also written the script, there’s a genuineness to Ramstedt’s performance as she relives her experience and takes us through the emotional guilt she felt alongside it. Woven into the script are soundbites from Donald Trump condemning abortion, cleverly addressing both sides of the debate. Ramstedt’s performance is empowering in its complete faith in a woman’s right to choose, but it also effectively highlights the sad reality of abortion shaming in society, creating a well rounded dialogue. Even more disturbingly, Ramstedt discusses the feeling of isolation this causes, and the way that women struggle to talk about it with friends and family, despite the fact that, statistically, 1 in 3 women will choose to abort at some point in their lives.
Masterfully executed, Mission Abort tackles the taboo around abortion and makes the important point that it’s an issue that society should no longer be ashamed to address.
Words: Claire Jack
Mission Abort, Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre, Aug 17-28, 5.45pm