Arch 468 has announced a UK tour and online stream of Laura Wyatt O’Keeffe’s acclaimed play Vessel.
The piece will tour the UK between 14 and 22 October 2021 before a digital screening between 25 October and 14 November 2021.
The tour and stream follows an extremely successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2018.
Inspired by Ireland’s abortion referendum, this multi-award nominated, five-star drama by Irish writer and performer Laura Wyatt O’Keeffe (Arrival, New Wimbledon Theatre; Vesta, Brighton Fringe) is a challenging reminder of the lies and legacies we inherit and the potential power of the individual in the digital age. The distinctly feminist narrative tackles complex issues surrounding women’s bodies and the boundaries of personal choice.
From the production hub behind the inaugural Hope Prize, Vessel is set in Ireland in 2018, when abortion was still illegal. When another underage pregnant girl dies, doctor’s receptionist Maia is forced into action, impregnating herself intentionally to stage a public protest for legalisation.
As she challenges the law to demand change, her crusade becomes increasingly personal, garnering press attention and dividing the nation.
Vessel is not a story, it’s a rebellion: a call to arms. Weaving together tender and understated comedy with a poignant and hard-hitting message, the play is a celebration of feminine power. It takes inspiration from Margaret Attwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale; it finds strength in Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You; it is fuelled by Florence Given’s Women Don’t Owe You Pretty.
The role of Maia will be played by Julie Maguire (On McQuillans Hill, The Plough and the Stars). Joining her will be Esther Ayo-James (Windows ’21, Boychild) as Sarah and Jonathan Tynan Moss (…If We’ve Never Been to the Moon?, The Naughty Fox) as John.
Tour dates and tickets are available online from arch468.com/vessel
Writer Laura Wyatt O’Keeffe said: “I started writing this play in 2014 when the idea of abortion being legalised in Ireland seemed impossible. And now I’m touring the show in 2021, when Texas has just made abortion an impossible choice for its citizens, Poland took back those rights last year and people are still travelling to other countries to access safe healthcare.
“Our rights are under attack and our bodies are their starting point.”