The Squirrel Plays @ C Cubed

A sensitive and timely analysis of the issues surrounding female reproductive health and bodily autonomy

Review by Grace Lavender | 31 Aug 2018

Part of the Main is a theatre company dedicated to showcasing plays by women about women’s issues, and The Squirrel Plays is no exception to this rule. Written by Mia McCollough and directed by Jessica Bickel-Barlow this is an evocative and highly imaginative piece exploring issues of pregnancy, abortion and personal choice.

Sarah and Tom have just moved into a new neighbourhood. Well-to-do young professionals, they are certainly not interested in having any squirrels. That is until a squirrel unexpectedly infests their loft, leaving Sarah confused as to what to do next. As they mull over whether to exterminate the squirrel or to keep it they discover that there are lots of people in their neighbourhood who are having similar issues. Some people seem to like having squirrels, and some suffer from infestations despite their best efforts.

This extended and imaginative analogy sheds a light on to several issues relating to women’s reproductive health. The show is complex while being completely clear, and a wide range of views on topics such as abortion and birth control are represented by different characters. There are no villains in this play, and all of the views expressed are treated with equal weight, effectively humanising a normally political issue.

Perhaps the only character portrayed negatively is Tom (Hugh Stubbins) who pressures Sarah to call the squirrel exterminators and doesn’t seem to understand why she might find this upsetting. In exploring the role of men in issues of female reproductive rights McCullough raises yet another issue so pertinent in the current political climate. The Squirrel Plays is a sensitive and timely analysis of the issues surrounding female reproductive health and bodily autonomy.

The Squirrel Plays, C Cubed, until 27 Aug, £10-8

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