Runtime: 1h 15m
Chalk Line is a company with a great future ahead, and here’s one they made earlier. First seen at the Edinburgh fringe last summer, where it was one of the winners of New Diorama’s Untapped Award, Blanket Ban, written and performed by Maltese theatre-makers Davinia Hamilton and Marta Vella, is a piece of documentary theatre about the effects on Maltese women of living in the only country in the EU where there is a complete ban on abortion for any reason. Like Sh!t Theatre’s Drink Rum With Ex-Pats, this is necessary theatre that peeps behind the sunny surface of a country to reveal something far darker that the tourists don’t see. The show is sure to have developed since I saw it last year, when passion and anger sometimes outstripped the stagecraft. But this is a really galvanising piece of campaigning theatre in which video footage and interviews convey the life-threatening realities of being a pregnant woman in Malta.
Following a SOLD OUT Edinburgh Festival Fringe run, as winners of the Underbelly and New Diorama Untapped Award, hit-show Blanket Ban transfers to Southwark Playhouse Borough. A docu-play interrogating the devastating consequences for the women of Malta of living in the only EU country to prohibit abortion entirely “Sometimes I’m afraid of this play.” Malta: Catholic kitsch, golden sun, deep blue sea, Eurovision - and a blanket ban on abortion. Propelled by three years’ of interviews with anonymous contributors and their own lived experience, actors and activists Marta and Davinia interrogate Malta’s restrictions on the freedom of women. What does it mean for your home to boast the world’s most progressive LGBTQIA rights, leading transgender laws – and a population that is almost unanimously anti-choice? Age Recommendation: 14+