Thursday, 24 June 2021

Catholic cruelty is exposed in play

THE heartache of losing a child to stillbirth is the subject of a new play by award-winning Henley writer Caroline Bowder.

Conversations with Mary is about a 17-year-old Irish girl Máire who is horrified to find she’s pregnant. However, after deciding to keep the baby, she suffers the devastation of not only losing the child at birth but of being told by the Catholic church that the child’s soul will not go to heaven because it has not been baptised.

The play will be performed in three London fringe venues in April and will then come to St Mary’s Church in Henley for a one-off performance on May 2.

Caroline, of Northfield End, said she was inspired to write the play after living in Ireland during the Sixties and hearing of many similar cases.

She said: “The situation in Ireland used to be really bad. If you got pregnant you had to conceal it or get sent away. The cruelty meted out to women — either being not allowed contraception or if you got pregnant you were disgraced — makes me feel extremely angry. People were made to feel terrible.

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