Part party, part PSHE lesson and part coming-of-age rom-com, A Womb of One’s Own is a heartfelt love letter to women’s bodies everywhere.
Babygirl is off to university to have sex and what follows is a real education
Four women bounce on stage in their matching nightdresses and what follows is an educational uplifting comedy about abortion. Despite the heavy material, Wonderbox’s new Fringe show is surprisingly light in tone.
We follow Babygirl, a sexually frustrated 18 year old, as she navigates her way towards sexual liberation. She tells her Irish Catholic Grandmamie that she’s off to become an "independent woman" and soon finds herself at Freshers' week, desperate to have some sex.
Claire Rammelkamp, Holly Bond, Danica Corns and Carla Garratt all play Babygirl at different points to great effect. Mostly it is Rammelkamp’s tentative gangly awkwardness that perfectly embodies the loneliness of Babygirl, who faces an all too common trauma.
One in three women in the UK will have an abortion by the time they are 45. Yet, as Babygirl finds out, having an abortion is terrifying and isolating and most of us have no idea what it will entail until we have one.
Written by Claire Rammelkamp, and based on her own experiences, the script bursts with simple honesty and infectious wit. It might not be saying anything overtly new, but the show’s big-hearted sincerity is refreshing.
This is a play about one woman going through an abortion, but it is also about Babyface discovering her sexuality, growing up and understanding her body. Rammelkamp’s script is not subtle, but it is well-timed and handles a tough topic with confidence and contagious comedy.
At times, it pushes for laughs in uncomfortable places; an obstinate sound effect when Babygirl’s dead mother is mentioned occurs time and time again to no great effect, but that’s all part of the quirky style that the all-female theatre company Wonderbox has created. It is an explicitly sex-positive show, with masturbation and motherhood handled on equal terms, opening up the discussion about women’s bodies.
Funny, but never dark, A Womb of One’s Own is a slick, energetic ensemble act. The script was simplistic, but that was all part of the charm as it was delivered by four confident performers, who’s on-stage chemistry was a joy to behold.